The confidence of small businesses across the Sunshine Coast – from grocery stores, fruit shops and bakeries to clothing outlets and cafés – is on the rise, with many reporting a boost in sales this summer.
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason OPray said several factors had contributed to the successful tourism season.
“We have a number of things to thank for this great tourism season – brilliant weather, the wonderful surf conditions, and council’s very worthwhile investment of almost $2 million to put sand back on Maroochydore and Alexandra Headland beaches,” Cr OPray said.
“The falling Aussie dollar and resulting ‘staycations’, and campaigns by Sunshine Coast Destination have also played a part.
“Businesses from across the entire Sunshine Coast are saying it’s their greatest summer in decades.
“These positive reports suggest our region is heading in the right direction for a sustainable economy.”
There was also a 16% increase in December traffic at Sunshine Coast Airport compared to recent years.
Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd CEO Simon Ambrose said the influx of visitors over the festive season has been indicative of the tourism market bouncing back.
“We are encouraged by reports from our local tourism industry of the best summer for many years with numbers up across the board.
“Accommodation operators from Caloundra through to Rainbow Beach and across the hinterland have consistently reported bumper occupancy levels of 100% over the key Christmas and January period and up by 20 – 30% on previous seasons.
“We have also received figures from local attractions indicating they have experienced significantly higher customer numbers than the same time last year and restaurants have also reported a record trading period.
“I believe the extremely good weather over the period was a key factor, combined with our million dollar interstate campaign “Make the Most of the Moment” in the lead up to the period. The Australian dollar bringing visitors from southern states instead of heading overseas and historically low interest rates have also played a part leaving dollars for holidaymakers to enjoy our safe and naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast region.”