Southern wave has island hopping with joy
The world is looking bright for tour operators as crowds take advantage of reduced restrictions and hit the Sunshine Coast and beyond for the long weekend.
Hana Robinson of Noosaville-based Drop Bear Adventures says Fraser Island or K’gari is the COVID Safe place to be.
“It’s been really good, the long weekend is great but we’ve been already quite booked up,” Ms Robinson said.
“Now that the borders have opened (further), yesterday I got seven bookings which is great.
“We’ve got another two weeks where we’re looking really busy.”
She said clients felt really comfortable about staying on the island.
“It makes a big difference, there’s a lot of people who are concerned about travelling … here we’ve got a confidence,” she said.
“On the island you’ve got plenty of space, there’s not a problem there, you’re not limited.”
She said a lot of visitors were coming from newly opened up areas like Byron and Lismore.
Drop Bear runs a campsite at Eurong on Fraser as well as their tours.
“I’m very grateful though to be in the southeast corner here, I’ve got friends up in Cairns and Airlie Beach not doing so well,” she said.
“We’re very lucky that we’ve got that immediate population of the Brisbane area.”
Noosa Chamber of Commerce president Rob Neely said the long weekend for Noosa as “trending favourably” with Hastings St and Noosa foreshore accommodation providers at near or full capacity.
“Both precincts are seeing guests that have not previously visited Noosa in favour of overseas destinations which is terrific,” Mr Neely said.
“After the long weekend the bookings are far softer and dropping to as low as 30 per cent occupancy midweek throughout October.
“Noosa operators have changed the way they are doing business to fill these holes.”
He said they were decreasing their length of stay from five-day day minimums down to two days and were adjusting tariffs to make Noosa a must-do destination for Brisbane and regional Queenslanders.
He said while the strategy was paying some dividends it was increasing the cost to businesses through extra room cleans.
“Resorts are starting to see bookings and arrivals from Adelaide and also Canberra which is a credit to the work of Tourism Noosa and also the Sunshine Coast Airport,” Mr Neely said.
“The business/tourism/travel industry is working closer than it ever has in the past to keep Noosa businesses and their employees and our families fully employed.”