NOOSA is a driving force behind an impressive tourism rebound on the Sunshine Coast.
Acting Tourism Minister and Member for Noosa Glen Elmes is delighted by the latest holiday booking data and said the Sunshine Coast was expecting to "top off a year of impressive growth in the number of Aussies holidaying in the region".
He was expecting a "bumper" summer holiday period, with industry reports indicating positive holiday bookings.
"Noosa has been identified by the national online booking group, Wotif.com, as one of the top five summer school holiday spots in Queensland, based on room nights booked, which is fantastic news for our local operators," Mr Elmes said.
"The Mantra Group has reported that bookings at its seven Sunshine Coast properties have grown by a solid 6.5% when compared to the same period last year.
"Wotif.com reported some impressive figures for the entire Sunshine Coast this holiday season compared to the same period last year," Mr Elmes said.
He said data showed bookings to the hinterland had increased by more than 75%, while Caloundra was up by more than 50%.
Mr Elmes said National Visitor Survey detailed "great" figures for the year ending September 2012, showing the number of Aussies holidaying at the Sunshine Coast increased 18% to 1.8 million compared to the previous year.
He said this would provide "a real confidence boost for tourism heading into the new year".
"Tourism is one of the four pillars of the economy and is vital to the Sunshine Coast region. I hope all operators have a great summer and school holiday season," Mr Elmes said.
Sunshine Coast Destination chief executive officer Steve Cooper said accommodation and tour operators from Caloundra to Mooloolaba and the hinterland to Noosa were reporting solid forward bookings right throughout the summer holiday period.
"We have been cheered by the recent National Visitor Survey reports of a bustling September holiday period and we want to keep the momentum going for our industry through summer as well," Mr Cooper said.
"There are still some vacancies available so everyone can enjoy a real Sunshine Coast summer."
Mr Elmes said the quieter "shoulder season" in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays was also strong, thanks to a boost from Tourism Queensland's I Spy campaign which ran in September and delivered a 49% increase in bookings for participating operators.