Skip to main content
Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism & Hospitality

Tourism & Hospitality in North Queensland

The region’s tourism and events sector support approximately 8,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes $1.2B to the regional economy. Each year the region welcomes more than 3 million visitors with the average length of stay around 4 nights and each visitor spending around $172 per day.

The accommodation and food services sector provides somewhere to stay for Australian and overseas arrivals seeking short-term lodgings and places to eat and drink across a wide range of hospitality establishments.

Tourism experience development has been a key priority for the region over the past decade, with significant investment in new or improved experiences recently completed or underway including: The Museum of Underwater Art, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, $40M upgrade to the Ville Resort and Casino and upgrades to the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium.

Tourism & Hospitality in North Queensland

The Stats

502K Holiday visitors annually
1.14M Domestic overnight visitors annually
6,593 Jobs supported by tourism in NQ

Average Domestic Tourism Spend

1. $1022 Average spend per trip
2. $278 Average spend per day
3. 3.7 nights Average length of stay

Looking for a job in North Queensland?

Visit Jobs North Queensland to search for jobs, register your Air CV and sign up for custom news and listing alerts.

jobs north queensland

Learn About Tourism & Hospitality Careers

Business Sectors

  • Cafes, Restaurants & Takeaway Food Services
  • Accommodation
  • Pubs, Taverns and Bars
  • Clubs (Hospitality)
  • Tourism & Travel Agents and Advisors
  • Conference & Event Organisers

Industry Snapshot

Employment in Accommodation and Food Services has rebounded from COVID-19 lows, and the industry continues to provide many jobs. There are employment opportunities within this industry across most occupation groups. 

Businesses in this industry are mainly involved in activities like:

  • Hotels, motels, and places offering short-term accommodations including camp grounds, caravan parks and holiday stays
  • Cafes, restaurants, catering, snack bars, speciality food services
  • Cultural & recreational services
  • Travel, tours, guides & agents
  • Events

On the job training is common, and many workers do not have post-school qualifications, although a quarter of workers have a VET qualification.

With a wide variance, average earnings are $500 per week, lower than the ‘all industries’ average of $1,200.

$500 Median Weekly Earnings
46.8% Employed Full-time (lower than average of 73%)
6.0% of the North Queensland Workforce
Share of employment by gender

Industry Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the food, tourism and hospitality industry, according to the National Skills Commission. Many businesses had to change the way they operate, such as by scaling back staff, adjusting staff duties and changing the products they offered. In the long term, demand for food services is set to increase, but many of the changes made during the pandemic will persist, particularly with regards to how products and services are provided to customers.

Employment in the Accommodation and Food Services industry is projected to grow by 112,400 (13.2%) over the five years to 2026.

Good interpersonal skills, solid communication skills, organisational skills and the ability to be a part of a team are all key attributes of working in the accommodation sector. They are essential for dealing not only with holidaymakers and guests, but with staff from other sectors of the hospitality and retail industries.
Careers in the food services sector vary widely. They span from casual customer service positions in fast-food outlets to managerial positions in many world-class restaurants and hotels. The sector offers considerable opportunities for casual and part-time work.

Top Employing Occupations

  • Waitstaff
  • Sales Assistants
  • Chefs & Cooks
  • Café and Restaurant Managers
  • Retail Managers
  • Café Workers
  • Event Managers
  • Conference Organisers
  • Travel Agent
  • Tour Operator

Explore & Get Started is an extensive career exploration resource for students, teachers advisors and parents to explore personal and career profiles, industry information, occupations, courses, videos and more.

Find a Course or Traineeship

TAFE offers Certificate and Diploma courses in a range of pathways to Hospitality, Event Management, Travel and Tourism and Retail Services as well as support in sourcing apprenticeships and traineeships.


JCU offers Diploma, Bachelor and Masters in a range of Hospitality related pathways. Visit the university website for pathway and course information.


Tec-NQ is a registered training organisation delivering nationally accredited qualifications through full time apprentice training, VET in Schools programs, short courses and training.

Visit Tec-NQ

CQU offers a wide range of courses from Certificate to Bachelor in Hospitality, Event Management and Travel and Tourism.

Visit CQ University

MEGT is a great place to find currently advertised traineeships and apprenticeships.

Visit MEGT

Apprenticeships QLD is a website that directs trainees to field based apprenticeships in Queensland.

Visit Apprenticeships QLD

Queensland Government provides assist in finding apprenticeships and traineeships including those that are funded by the Queensland Government. Visit the Queensland Training Information Service (QTIS) or the DESBT website for information.

Visit QTIS

Industry Associations