THE stats are in and it's official - tourism is one of the Gympie region's biggest earners, bringing more than $100 million a year into the local economy.
And it is the overnight travellers, campers, backpackers and grey nomads who love us most.
New Destination Gympie Region tourism development manager Andrew Saunders says between December 2009 and December 2012 the region, which includes the Cooloola Coast and Mary Valley, had 1.15 million visitors generating $275 million in revenue.
Of that $275 million, more than two-thirds ($193 million) came from overnight travellers, $65 million from day trips and $17 million from international visitors.
To break that down even further, the vast majority of our domestic overnight visitors drove here (92%).
More than half of them were on holiday at the time, 88% had come from other areas of Queensland (mostly the south-east) and almost a third of camped or had their own caravan.
It compares to the state average of camping or caravanning visitors, which is 13%.
Mr Saunders said one of the biggest areas for growth in Gympie tourism was the domestic day tripper.
Of those who enjoyed a day trip to the region in 2010-12, about half were from the Sunshine Coast, a quarter from Brisbane and 16% were from the Fraser Coast.
A quarter of them were grey nomads.
Throughout Queensland, about a quarter of international tourists are from the United Kingdom and Europe, but in the Gympie region 77% of our international visitors are from that part of the world.
The proportion of our international visitors who are backpackers (47%) four times that of the state-wide figure.
"These results highlight the important of the drive traffic from the Sunny Coast and Brisbane, and the need to tell the region's stories, showcase our experiences and continually improve our service and delivery to get them back and get them to stay," Mr Saunders said.
"The region is mostly seen as a camping holiday destination with the main areas being the coast and the Mary Valley.
"The region being the southern gateway to Fraser Island and offering the best access via Rainbow and Inskip is an advantage.
"This is where the backpackers are mostly introduced to the region, mostly via Greyhound."
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