A bumper Easter long weekend across the Sunshine Coast and Noosa is just the start of the biggest tourism boom the region has seen for more than two years.
Occupancy across the coast has been solid, with most enjoying upwards of 80% and some areas of Noosa completely booked out.
Tourism Noosa’s Sue Willis told the ABC the region was up 15 percent on 2019 so far this year, mainly due to a strong domestic tourism drive.
“We’ve seen a switch with people not going overseas and then coming to Noosa, which is great news,” she said.
Airport chaos was reported around the country as people took advantage of all state borders being open for the first major holiday in two years while tourism operators rejoiced.
Hastings Street Association precinct project manager Alesha Gooderham said that in addition to the thousands of people flying into Queensland, the region also attracted a large number of people from across the state.
“We are seeing visitors who haven’t been able to come to Noosa returning. A lot of people are driving from interstate, bringing their own cars and taking the time to discover the hinterland and other attractions the Sunshine Coast has to offer.”
In March, Visit Sunshine Coast launched a new campaign to entice visitors from Sydney and Melbourne back to the region in shoulder periods, particularly in the lead-up to Easter and throughout May and June.
The campaign aimed to tap into pent-up demand, with more than 20 tourism businesses participating in package deals, including Noosa Blue Resort, Noosa River Retreat and Sand Dunes in Marcoola.
The state government has also launched a range of Queensland holiday and flight deals now borders are open to New Zealand.
Many Sunshine Coast resorts and accommodation providers used the quieter period during the pandemic as an opportunity to refurbish, bringing a freshness to the region’s overall offering.
The iconic Netanya Noosa completed a $14 million refurbishment including extensive exterior upgrades, reopening earlier this year.
The region is also expected to benefit from the launch of the country’s new independent carrier, Bonza which takes off from the Sunshine Coast later this year. The airline will fly to 25 destinations from Sunshine Coast Airport including Mildura, Albury, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Rockhampton.