Tourism operators and small businesses are hopeful the recent boom in trade will roll on as many people plan an extended long weekend ahead of ANZAC day.
The local tourism industry is going from strength to strength with more public holidays to come after a steady stream of visitors delivered a bumper Easter crowd.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said direct flights to the Sunshine Coast helped boost interstate visitors, while the Ocean Street World Festival drew crowds of more than 40,000.
“Tourism remains a primary driver for our local economy and the huge volume of Easter holiday makers choosing to visit the Sunshine Coast reinforces our image as the lifestyle capital of Australia,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The confidence that comes from a successful tourism season is contagious, it boosts the spirits of the local community and translates into smiles across the small businesses sector.”
Andrew Wallace, Federal Member for Fisher, said the Sunshine Coast really delivers for everyone.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen our hinterland and our beaches so packed with smiling faces,” Mr Wallace said of the Easter weekend.
“I know that Australia Zoo here in Beerwah had 4,000 more people through its doors this Easter than last. The Zoo put on a special Easter egg hunt, and all of their animal encounters were practically sold out throughout the weekend.”
Chief Executive of the Queensland Tourism Council, Danial Gschwind, said despite the challenges of cyclone Debbie in the lead-up to the Easter Holidays, tourism had delivered a welcome boost to regional economies across Queensland.
“Businesses and tens of thousands of staff in all regions have worked hard to deliver outstanding visitor experiences for Easter travellers,” he said.
“The outlook for further growth in the sector remains strong, providing significant job opportunities for Australians at a critical time.”
Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said it was no surprise the booming tourism industry was attracting more visitors and injecting more money into the Sunshine Coast economy.
“Our tourism industry is worth $120 billion to the Australian economy and employs 1 in 12 Australians,” he said.
“The Coalition is investing in the continued growth of our tourism economy, which is driving more investment and creating more jobs for people in tourism hotspots like the Sunshine Coast.”