‘Busiest in years’: Bay bounces back after COVID hit
HERVEY BAY has bounced back from COVID-19 restrictions and is enjoying its busiest holiday season in years, the region’s tourism boss says.
Martin Simons, general manager of Fraser Coast Tourism and Events said as the second week of school holidays started, Hervey Bay was not only showing signs of recovering – it was in a strong position.
“It’s been very busy. Hervey Bay’s probably the busiest it’s been in years,” Mr Simons said.
He said a comprehensive marketing push targeting the Queensland drive market had contributed to the successful season.
“We’ve been heavily marketed,” he said.
“We’re within three-and-a-half hours of 70 per cent of Queensland.”
Mr Simons said reports from Bay accommodation providers suggested some were enjoying their strongest June in five years.
He said things were not looking as strong in the Heritage City.
“That’s probably because the RV travellers are taking longer to get here,” Mr Simons said.
This observation echoes Maryborough MP, Bruce Saunders’ comments, who said Maryborough’s tourism industry had “a lot more work to do”.
Mr Simons said there had been concerns about the impact social distancing requirements would have on restaurants and tour operators.
He said, however, distancing measures on marine and bus tours had been eased in time for the Bay’s whale watching season.
Mr Simons said it was important not to “gloss over” the financial hit businesses had taken.
“These people haven’t had any money coming in for three months so we shouldn’t gloss over it and say it’s business as usual,” he said.