In spite of the floods, the oil spill, and a bout of bluebottle jellyfish, not to mention the recession, Australia's Sunshine Coast recorded another bumper Easter break. Coupled with the news that the Sunshine Coast has seen Queensland's strongest growth for business visitors in the last financial year, the region has much to celebrate.
Figures from the Queensland Business Events Survey show 20,000 business visitors came to the region, spending a minimum average of almost $ 400-a-day. The figures are particularly significant at a time when businesses are cutting back on their conference expenditure. They demonstrate that quite often a business trip to Sunshine coast accommodation can easily be combined with a family holiday.
As a result of the unprepented flooding in the week before Easter, there was projected gloom and doom in the region as some tourism operators were forced to close their businesses over one of the coast's busiest weekends of the year. Owners of campsites and caravan parks for example around the flood hit areas of Kin Kin and the upper reaches of the Noosa River were trying their best to warn visitors to stay away over the Easter weekend as the floods had washed away or severely damaged facilities.
However, the region benefited from its close proximity to Brisbane and aggressive marketing from the tourism industries as Brisbane residents flocked to book last minute deals. Great value deals and targeted advertising rejected in better than expected occupancy rates on the coast. A $ 2 million marketing and advertising campaign, aimed at highlighting the coast's clean and safe beaches after the oil spill, was also expected to draw visitors from Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand. But many Sunshine Coast accommodation facilities reported that they had been booked for months in advance by visitors unwilling to risk losing out on their annual Easter break by leaving it until the last minute to book. From camp sites to luxury five-star resorts, 'no vacancy' signs were being joyfully displayed everywhere.
With the benefit of simultaneous school holidays across Australia, visitors were able to spend longer in the region after the Easter weekend, finding plenty of ways to spend their money in the coast's many tourist facilities. Rough surf conditions and more rain meant that tourists looked to entertain themselves in the Sunshine Coast's countless restaurants, amusement facilities and shopping centers.
A bumper seafood supply on the Sunshine Coast over Easter was also expected to keep visitors happy over the holiday period. With consumers trying to eat more healthily and being conscious about eating locally caught seafood, Sunshine Coast fishermen were anticipating a surge in demand for their abundant supplies of spanner crabs, Mooloolaba prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, fish and scallops. The recent oil spill had little effect on sales as the region's authorities were very quick to publicize the fact that Sunshine Coast seafood was safe to eat.
Expect to find many more great deals on Sunshine Coast accommodation up and down the region as the quighter autumn and winter seasons approach. With coldest month of July having an average daily maximum temperature of 20.9C, tourism operators will be vigorously promoting the warm and dry winter climate that the Sunshine Coast enjoys.