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Ipswich Sees the Fastest Growth in Visitors in SEQ

July 22, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

The heritage city on Brisbane’s doorstep once again sees tourism numbers climb, with new Tourism Research Australia figures showing 1.8m visitors visited the region in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 28 per cent on the previous year seeing the fastest growth of any region in SEQ. Domestic overnight stays were up 46.5 per cent, while day trips were up 23.3 per cent and international visitors increased 33.4 per cent.

Tourism Research Australia data for the year ending March 2019 shows visitation to Ipswich across three areas – domestic overnight, domestic day trips and international overnight arrivals had all increased in 2019 compared to 2018.  The year on year increase in total visitor numbers was the fastest growth of any SEQ region.

These growing tourism numbers are in part thanks to the hard work of Ipswich tourism operators that have been offering amazing experiences with superior customer service and council promoting the city to visitors through its Discover Ipswich brand.

That has resulted in 25 of our tourism operators being awarded TripAdvisor certificates of Excellence this year with six operators being recognised in the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame for more than five years of outstanding service excellence.

These standouts were The Workshops Rail Museum which has won the accolade eight years in a row, Spicers Hidden Vale which has won it seven years in a row, Queen’s Park, Indian Mehfil and this year we saw two more new businesses Quest Ipswich and Pterodactyl Helicopters make this prestigious group.

Ipswich City Council CEO David Farmer said he was not surprised that Queen’s Park had been rated so highly by visitors to the city. Mr Farmer said the city’s tourism numbers continued to rise thanks to businesses becoming more innovative, increasing their own capability by participating in council supported work-shops and partnering with like-minded operators.

Ipswich City Council has launched the Groups Attraction Program to further attract more group tours (educational, probus, corporate and touring) to the city to support Monday to Friday trading. Businesses should take the opportunity to join the 30 other businesses that have joined the program with the details at

In addition the Google Trekker – Humans Wanted campaign has started to show fruit with council owned tracks at Flinders Peak and White Rock respectively seeing 20,324 and 57,300 visitors over the past year.

“Ipswich businesses are leading the way when it comes to unique tourism offerings and this will only get better over the years,” Mr Farmer said.

An example is 4 Hearts Brewing company, the only commercial beer brewer in Ipswich has started canning their beers to reach a wider market and they continue to bring out new flavours like their popular carrot brew.

Spicers Hiddenvale recently launched a new Koala Safari experience allowing guests a glimpse into the life of researcher working to protect koala populations.

And Ungermann Brothers have started selling takeaway ice cream tubs, plated deserts, and offering cooking classes which ensures customers keep coming in the doors.

Another great example is a collaboration between Pterodactyl Helicopters, The Soul Nook Collective and Woodlands of Marburg, the tourism businesses recently teamed up to offer luxury heli-picnics.

The tourism and hospitality industry employs more than 15,392 people in the Ipswich region and it’s this kind of innovation that will ensure future job growth.

Industry quotes:

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said he was delighted to receive another TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich.

“The Workshops site has been an integral part of Ipswich since 1865, converting to a world class museum in 2002 to highlight the colourful history of rail and the significant role it has played in Queensland,” Dr Thompson said.  “During this time we have welcomed over a million visitors to The Workshops Rail Museum, won tourism awards and now we are honoured that our visitors have rewarded us with this certificate as well.  “This award is testament to our staff who provide an exceptional experience to our visitors every day.”

Spicers Hidden Vale has won a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence for the past seven years.

“Spicers is a luxury retreat unlike any other in the region and has been providing excellent customer service since it opened in 2010.” General manager Thomas Simpson said.  “We’re honoured to win the acknowledgement through TripAdvisor which is based on customer reviews.  Occupancy levels continue to increase and we look forward to welcoming more guests to experience our truly unique property.”

Indian Mehfil owner Rajesh Sharma was equally happy to receive the award.

“Indian Mehfil are pleased to be recognised with another TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and to be included in the Hall of Fame for continually setting the standard in food and customer service in our region. Since opening in 2010 we have prided ourselves on utilising the freshest locally sourced ingredients to create authentic Indian cuisine that surprises and excites our guests”, Mehfil owner Rajesh Sharma said.   “We are continually evolving our restaurant with menu additions, discounts and special offers to ensure our customers have reasons to visit us. Our historic building right in the heart of Ipswich CBD has a unique ambience that complements our food and exceptional customer service.”

Quest Ipswich has this year made it into TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame winning a certificate of excellence for its fifth year in a row.

“We’ve been working really hard to ensure our guests have an amazing experience when they stay at Quest Ipswich and we are finding more and more people planning to return to experience more of what the region has to offer.  We’re noticing our Leisure visitor numbers are up year on year which is a promising sign for our growing market.”

The full list of operators who won Trip Advisor Certificates of Excellence were:

1.The Workshops Railway Museum

2.Spicers Hidden Vale

3.Queen’s Park

4.Indian Mehfil

5.Quest Ipswich

6.Pterodactyl Helicopters

7.Ungermann Brothers

8.Rafter and Rose

9.4 Hearts Brewing Pumpyard Bar and Brewery



12.Heisenberg Haus


14.Indian Tadka

15.Peak Thai

16.Queen’s Park Cafe

17.Ipswich Country Motel

18.Floating Images

19.Seraphim Escape

20.Quest Springfield

21.Robelle Domain

22.Colleges Crossing Recreational Reserve

23.Nerima Gardens

24.Summerland Camels


Join the 203 businesses that make up the Ipswich Tourism Operators Network, a like-minded group of forward thinking business operators looking to grow their business in collaboration with council. Details at:

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