Tourist Ben Schlumpf buys tickets for his Fraser Island holiday.
Tourist Ben Schlumpf buys tickets for his Fraser Island holiday.

Positive figures for Coast tourism

THE FRASER Coast has bucked the downward trend the rest of Queensland is experiencing when it comes to domestic tourism.

Australia’s national visitor survey shows that up until the end of September total domestic visitor numbers to Queensland were down four per cent – but the Fraser Coast had increased its domestic market share by 14 per cent.

Fraser Coast councillor Anne Nioa was thrilled by the results of the survey.

“I think to be able to buck the trend in such a way is wonderful,” she said.

Ms Nioa, who chairs the council’s tourism and marketing portfolio, said it was the Fraser Coast’s unique attractions that drew visitors to the area, in particular whale watching and Fraser Island.

“The fact that we have Fraser Island as a unique selling point is a huge boost. It’s something everyone wants to see. And our whale watching is the best in the world.”

Ms Nioa said it was great to end the year on a positive note: “It’s wonderful news – the more positive publicity we get the better.”

She said more visitors were also discovering the other attractions the Fraser Coast had to offer, especially in Maryborough.

“We are encouraging our visitors to disperse throughout the Fraser Coast and that can only benefit the whole area.”

Jill Perry from Hervey Bay Whale Watching was also happy to hear domestic tourism was up and believed a strong whale watching season had contributed to the figures.

“We were a little bit down on last year’s figures but considering the economic climate we fared very well,” she said.

Ms Perry has noticed an increase in domestic tourism, with people visiting the area from around Australia and from throughout the state.

“We’ve had lots of people visiting from Gladstone and Rockhampton.”

Ben Schlumpf, who came to the Fraser Coast after visiting Bundaberg, couldn’t wait to see Fraser Island and was eager to go hiking.

He said Fraser Island was the area’s biggest attraction.

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