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




Approaching whales in Strait will cost you: EHP

The maximum penalty for intentionally moving too close to a whale is $20,113.50 or an on-the-spot fine of $609.

Migaloo and other white whales have special protection

ALDI build begins in Urangan

OPENING SOON: Aldi in Maryborough Street opens on Wednesday 3 August.

Jobseekers are urged to get their resumes ready for a new store.

No need to inform public about brumbies on Fraser: QPWS

A brumby on Fraser Island.

The spokeswoman said public did not need to be concerned.

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles