News

Coast tourism industry in turmoil

John Hayes from Fraser Roving Backpackers on the Torquay Esplanade is hopeful the backpacker industry will pick up in Hervey Bay.
John Hayes from Fraser Roving Backpackers on the Torquay Esplanade is hopeful the backpacker industry will pick up in Hervey Bay. Karleila Thomsen

TURMOIL has again engulfed the Fraser Coast tourism industry with another of its biggest backpacking operators closed.

BDO as receivers and managers confirmed the 100 bed Next Backpackers was forced to close its doors on Saturday.

BDO partner Helen Newman said her company had been monitoring the hostel since May last year and would now rid itself of the asset.

"I can confirm that the last day of trade (was) Saturday and the intention is for the property to now be sold," Ms Newman said.

Next Backpackers had housed Nomads Fraser Island Tour clients until the booking giant relocated its guests to Rainbow Beach in March.

Former Next manager Mark Juppenlatz suggested at the time that Rainbow Beach dominated the market by holding the majority of Fraser Island driving permits.

Yesterday, Fraser Roving Backpackers owner John Hayes - a Hervey Bay hostel operator of 11 years - claimed the local industry was haemorrhaging.

Mr Hayes said close to eight big players traded profitably in Hervey Bay's backpacker market before the GFC.

He said, of those, only two hostel and tour operators, and a couple of minor players remained.

He warned Fraser Coast's economy would continue to suffer severe repercussions unless business and government moved quickly.

"No one is doing anything about it," Mr Hayes said.

"You can see by all the shops closed about town how much the region is suffering and it will get worse.

"We're not travelling real well ourselves and realistically could be the next one to go - that's 100 beds out of the local region and when the industry does pick back up, 100 fewer beds in the Fraser Coast.

"Tourism Fraser Coast, Tourism Queensland, the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the LNP government need to do something."

Tourism Fraser Coast board of directors member David Hay said the industry's representative was aware of the grim situation operators faced.

"There are both organisations and individuals with vested interests in Rainbow Beach who have power in the booking distribution system and the ability to push business into Rainbow Beach as opposed to this end," Mr Hay said.

Topics:  backpackers business economy fraser coast hostel tourism



More than 100 passengers affected by train derailment

A freight train has derailed at Raglan.

Emergency services respond to freight train accident

Will earlier lockout laws help the Fraser Coast?

LOCKOUT LAWS: Nightclub manager says the current laws have "made things worse”.

Nightclub manager says the ones we have now don't work.

Irukandji symptoms and what you need to do if stung

Fraser Island - Surf Life Saving Queensland have conducted marine stinger drags on Fraser Island. The drags were to look for Irukandji - Jellyfish expert, Associate Professor for James Cook University and advisor to Surf Life Saving Queensland, Jamie Seymour caught this Irukandji on Friday night, 30 metres off the Fraser Island Shore.

Irukandji affects people differently.

Local Partners

Hervey Bay group to do final act of kindness before closing

"It was formed mainly to assist with camaraderie among ourselves and to support local charities in the Bay.”


Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

What's on: 11 gigs coming up at the Brolga

Xavier Rudd will be performing a benefit concert at the Brolga Theatre on January 21.

There's a gig for everyone with lots happening in coming months.

Why platinum selling Xavier Rudd won't charge to play M'boro

Australian singer songwriter Xavier Rudd at Bluesfest 2015

All funds raised at the show will go towards community support.

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!