Holidays in Queensland are again in full swing – with operators across the state saying a bumper Easter lengthy weekend is just the start of a good sweeter season forward.
It comes as about 24,000 individuals travelled by the Gold Coast airport on Sunday.
One other 58,000 passengers flew out and in of Brisbane’s home airport on Sunday, with one other 52,000 anticipated to cross by on Monday.
It’s a stark distinction to 2 years in the past, when a number of the state’s operators have been struggling to fill rooms on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and interstate guests have been locked out of Queensland because of powerful border restrictions.
Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe yesterday introduced a brand new My Queensland promoting marketing campaign to draw travellers from New Zealand, which not too long ago reopened its worldwide borders.
Air New Zealand may also relaunch its flights to airports in Queensland and the state’s Days Like This marketing campaign will quickly be expanded to the New Zealand market.
Pre-COVID, New Zealand was Queensland’s second-biggest worldwide market, with 1.5 million passengers on trans-Tasman routes travelling by the state’s capital yearly.
‘Received that vibe once more’
Gold Coast vacation condominium supervisor Marion Simon stated Easter had been “superb — besides ours wasn’t stuffed with sweets, ours was stuffed with friends”.
Ms Simon stated this Easter lengthy weekend at Broadbeach’s Boulevard North Vacation Residences was the busiest since 2019.
Operators stated vacationers additionally flocked to the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Longreach, with many making the journey from Melbourne and Sydney.
“We have got holiday-makers, we have got vibe … we have got kids leaping within the pool and there is water in all places and it is great,” Ms Simon stated.
“We are actually 100 per cent full.”
Ms Simon additionally stated she was gearing up for a busy 2022.
“Might’s wanting good, June’s not wanting unhealthy, November’s wanting wonderful, individuals are reserving already for December,” she stated.
Vacation spot Gold Coast’s Rachel Hancock stated town had 85 per cent occupancy between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Folks ‘much less afraid of travelling’
On the Sunshine Coast, occupancy charges have been about 80 per cent and areas nearer to the center of Noosa have been even larger.
Tourism Noosa’s Sue Willis stated operators within the area have been rejoicing as they skilled their busiest Easter since earlier than the pandemic started.
“It is an enormous celebration, and everyone’s in nice spirits and it is nice to have the entire area full of individuals which might be comfortable to be right here,” Ms Willis stated.
“We’re up 15 per cent on 2019 this 12 months and I feel that is only a actually sturdy home tourism drive.
“Throughout the area we’re up by about 10 per cent in comparison with final 12 months.”
Whereas interstate travellers have been historically Noosa’s greatest clients, she stated this 12 months Queenslanders have been boosting occupancy ranges.
“We have seen a change with individuals not going abroad after which coming to Noosa, which is nice information,” Ms Willis stated.
Plans to recruit extra workers
In Townsville, Billabong Sanctuary common supervisor Beau Peberdy stated the park had file numbers throughout the lengthy weekend and now had plans to begin recruiting employees after reducing workers numbers throughout COVID.
“We have had an incredible lengthy weekend. On common we have had 100 to 200 individuals greater than final 12 months,” he stated.
Mr Peberdy stated the park had additionally seen the primary worldwide guests returning in latest weeks.
Outback ‘area of interest’ vacation
Dan Walker, who operates Camden Park Station at Longreach, stated there have been loads of households on the highway in western Queensland on the weekend — with a 100 per cent enhance in interstate travellers visiting his station since final 12 months.
“It is good to see a couple of quantity plates popping out with totally different colors on them,” Mr Walker stated.
He stated individuals journey to the outback for a “area of interest” vacation, with sights they can not expertise when visiting the seaside for a break.
Mr Walker — higher often known as Outback Dan — stated extra households have been hitting the highway and heading west, a location that has historically been a vacation spot for gray nomads.
Some worldwide travellers are additionally beginning to trickle into the outback.
An estimated 3,000 vacationers made their option to Birdsville, close to the Simpson Desert, earlier this month for the Birdsville Races — the primary races held since 2019.
Mr Walker stated he believed this 12 months’s tourism season was set to get even busier.
“It buzzes the city and everybody’s bought a smile on the dial, which is sweet to see,” he stated.
Mr Walker stated anybody searching for a winter escape ought to put the outback on their bucket record.
“Hit the highway and are available and assist the outback communities.”