Record tourists at Fraser Coast visitor centres in July-August
The total number of tourists calling at visitor centres in Maryborough and Hervey Bay in the months of July and August 2018 is a record for the region and 21% above the five-year average.
Visitors to the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre were up 76% year-on-year in July and 39% in August and for the first time during the two months the number of tourists visiting the Maryborough centre, eclipsed those seeking tourist information at Hervey Bay.
Fraser Coast Tourism & Events general manager Martin Simons said the Maryborough figures were boosted by the opening of the new Queens Park Walk with the Anzacs memorial and the 30-strong mural trail.
“There has been high demand from people calling at the Maryborough centre who have heard about these two products,” he said.
The daily walking tours of city buildings and landmarks have also been well supported with up to 50 people setting off each morning at 9am from City Hall.
All the growth in visitor numbers to Maryborough has been driven by the domestic market, up 58% year-on-year for July-August. Domestic visitors were up 32% in Hervey Bay in the same period, with an additional 5% improvement in international numbers.
The Tiaro centre also had a strong result in July-August with the number of visitors up 16% on the prior year.
Mr Simons said the marketing programs for both the military and mural trails were boosting what had been a bumper season for caravaners and RVers.
“All the parks have been close to full with spill-over going to the Maryborough showgrounds and Susan River Homestead.
“The low-cost RV camp site at the Doon Villa soccer grounds near the Maryborough airport had a record month for August with 658 vans spending 1215 nights at the grounds, eclipsing the July figure of 403 vans and 813 nights”.
Mr Simons said the RV study being carried out by the Fraser Coast Regional Council was nearing completion and was expected to be released in the coming months, with an expectation that the final report would include a recommendation for a Hervey Bay facility in longer-term plans.
The council had also recently increased policing of existing RV stop-overs, ensuring that compliant, self-contained vans and vehicles were using the city’s RV parks.
VISITORS DRIVE REVENUE BOOM:
The large influx of visitors has delivered a financial bonanza for the region, with the Hervey Bay visitor centre recording two $100,000-plus revenue months, selling Fraser Island tours, whale watching experiences, parks permits and momentos of the region.
“Our staff have done an outstanding job matching visitor needs with the range of products we have on offer for tourists,” Mr Simons said.
The August result of $115,002 in sales was a record for the centre and reflected the strong season for whale watching.
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