The audience at the Brolga Theatre for the premiere of Saving Mr Banks.
The audience at the Brolga Theatre for the premiere of Saving Mr Banks. Contributed

Saving Mr Banks brings big website hits for Fraser Coast

THE release of a comedy-drama during the summer holidays helped drive a 3000% traffic increase to the visitfrasercoast.com website.

The increased hits were attributed to the release of Saving Mr Banks in early January, which featured Maryborough as the birthplace of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers.

The film, which premiered at the Brolga Theatre, featured a Fraser Coast tourism promotional video in Queensland cinemas.

Tourism manager for Fraser Coast Opportunities, Robbie Cornelius, said it was too early to tell if visitor numbers had peaked, with official figures from the national tourism body to be released in coming months, but he was optimistic about the experience.

"Certainly it was a good opportunity to capitalise on," he said.

Mr Cornelius said the summer holiday period on the Fraser Coast had been very positive for the region.

"There were a larger number of people clicking through the site," Mr Cornelius said.

Dell Isdale's Mary Delicious business sits close by the city's Mary Poppins statue.

She believes the movie has prompted a renewed interested in the book, movie, musical and its creator.

"People are coming up to this end of town to see the statue.

"It's definitely a positive, it's great," Ms Isdale said.

She said more American tourists and grey nomads were paying the area a visit.

"A lot of them didn't realise she was Australian ... there is interest in where she was actually born," Ms Isdale said.

She suggested more signs pointing to the statue and a bigger social media effort.

"She should have her own Facebook page and maybe people could post their selfies with Mary," she said.

The Proud Marys are the group responsible for much of the Poppins fuss.

President Shirley Sengstock said the film generated a lot more interest in Mary Poppins and said a plan for a display with memorabilia was in its infancy.

"It's something we're all working on at the moment," she said.


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