In spite of the floods, the oil spill, and a bout of bluebottle jellyfish, not to mention the recession, Australia's Sunshine Coast recorded another Easter break bumper. Coupled with the news that the Sunshine Coast has seen Queensland's strongest growth for business visitors in the last financial year, the region has much to celebrate.
Figures from the Queensland Business Events Survey show 20,000 business visitors came to the region , spending a minimum of nearly $ 400-a-day. The figures are particularly significant at a time when businesses are cutting back on their conference expenses.
As a result of the unprecedented flooding in the week before Easter, there was projected gloom and doom in the region as some tour operators were forced to close their business over one of the busiest weekends of the year. Owners of campsites and caravan parks around the flood hit areas of Kin Kin and the upper reaches of the Noosa River were trying their best to warn the visitors to stay away during the Easter weekend as the floods had washed away or severely damaged facilities.
However, the region benefited from its close proximity to Brisbane and aggressive marketing from the tourism industries as Brisbane residents flocked to book last minute deals. Great value deals and targeted advertising resulted in better than expected occupancy rates on the coast. A $ 2 million marketing and advertising campaign, aimed at highlighting the coast's clean and safe beaches after the oil spill, was also expected to attract visitors from Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand. But many Sunshine Coast accommodation facilities reported that they had been booked for months in advance by visitors unwilling to risk losing out on their annual Easter break by leaving it until the last minute to book. From camp sites to luxury five-star resorts, 'no vacancy' signs were happily displayed everywhere.
With the benefit of simultaneous school holidays across Australia, visitors were able to spend longer in the region after the Easter weekend , finding plenty of ways to spend their money on the coast's many tourist facilities. Rough surf conditions and more rain meant that the tourists looked to entertain themselves in the countless restaurants, amusement facilities and shopping centers of the Sunshine Coast.
A bumper seafood supply on the Sunshine Coast over Easter was also expected to keep visitors happy over the holiday period. With consumers trying to eat more healthily and being conscious about eating locally caught seafood, Sunshine Coast fishermen were anticipating a surge in demand for their abundant supplies of spanner crabs, Mooloolaba prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, fish and scallops. The recent oil spill had little effect on sales as the region's authorities were very quick to publicise the fact that Sunshine Coast seafood was safe to eat.
Expect to find many more great deals on Sunshine Coast accommodation up and down the region as the quieter autumn and winter seasons approach. With the coldest month of July having a average daily maximum temperature of 20.9C, tourism operators will be vigorously promoting the warm and dry climate that the Sunshine Coast enjoys.