Queensland Rail Travel continues to be a shining light in the state’s tourism industry, with the organisation breaking all manner of records in April and across the third quarter of the financial year.
The numbers have received a major boost thanks to a large increase in the number of interstate travellers using Queensland Rail Travel services.
1,535 customers from outside Queensland made trips on the Travel network throughout the third quarter, which represents a 584 per cent increase on the previous record for the same period.
Queensland Rail Travel General Manager, Max Kruse, said the results show the organisation had turned the corner after some lean years for long-distance rail travel in the early part of this century.
“These numbers are quite phenomenal and they show that we’re heading in the right direction when it comes to making Queensland Rail Travel a successful business,” Mr Kruse said.
“In April, we had $4.42 million in sales, which is more than half a million dollars above our previous best figure for that month, set in 2011. Overall revenue for the quarter was also up 13.37 per cent on the old mark, reaching $12.71 million.
“Our push in to other domestic markets is proving to be very successful. Last month we had 602 interstate passengers boarding our trains, which is a 399 per cent increase on last April’s total.”
Tourism Queensland CEO, Anthony Hayes, was equally enthused by the strong passenger numbers.
“This is fantastic news for not only Queensland Rail Travel, but for our industry as a whole,” Mr Hayes said.
“I congratulate Queensland Rail Travel for their leadership linking all of our wonderful experiences and marketing our great state to Australia and the world.”
Mr Kruse said the figures back up the organisation’s belief that customers are looking for a unique rail experience, evidenced by the fact sales last quarter for Queensland Rail Travel’s premium product - Queenslander Class on The Sunlander – topped the previous best mark by 44 per cent.
“Anecdotal evidence from around the world shows people are looking for experiences they haven’t come across before,” Mr Kruse said.
“Thanks to Queensland’s stunning natural landscape and wildlife, we can provide people from Australia and the rest of the world with an experience they won’t get anywhere else, and in Queenslander Class they can do it while still having access to fine dining and a comfortable bed.
“As much as we are proud of this record-setting period, we have new markets to look to and new products to launch in the future.
“We’ve managed to post these figures when the tourism industry, in general, has been struggling, which makes these statistics even more remarkable. Hopefully there are greener pastures ahead for tourism in this country and Queensland Rail Travel can continue to play a strong role in the movement of tourists across our great state.”
While The Sunlander and Tilt Trains were the strongest performers, the Spirit of the Outback also had its best third quarter sales figure in history.