TOURISM DRAWCARD: Taking a look at the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Maryborough are (L) Amy Homes and her mum Amanda from Brisbane with her grandmother Margaret Huybrechts from Hervey Bay and Margaret's sister-in-law Donna Suter from Maryborough.
TOURISM DRAWCARD: Taking a look at the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Maryborough are (L) Amy Homes and her mum Amanda from Brisbane with her grandmother Margaret Huybrechts from Hervey Bay and Margaret's sister-in-law Donna Suter from Maryborough. Alistair Brightman

M'boro tourism stats beat the Bay

FRESH tourism data revealed Maryborough's visitor centre has topped Hervey Bay across the last two months bucking a long term trend.

This is being largely attributed to the recently opened Gallipoli to Armistice War Memorial and Maryborough's mural trail.

RV friendly sites have been close to full with spillover going to the Maryborough show grounds and Susan River Homestead.

For the first time, during July and August, the number of tourists visiting the Maryborough centre (2457) eclipsed those seeking tourist information at Hervey Bay (2273).

The total number of tourists calling at visitor centres in Maryborough and Hervey Bay are 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.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the Walk with the Anzacs in Queens Park and 30-strong mural trail were proving particularly popular.

"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 very well supported with up to 50 people setting off each morning at 9am from City Hall.”

Mr Simons said the growth in visitor numbers to Maryborough had been driven by the domestic market, up 58% year-on-year for July August.

"Obviously we are only able to count the people who come through the centres and sometimes people don't but they still contribute to unseen revenue for the region. Things like buying food and fuel and supplies.

"The next step is to develop more paid products like the walks and get the word out there they exist.”

Domestic visitors were up 32% in Hervey Bay in the same period, with an additional 5% improvement in international numbers.

Fraser Coast's visitor information centre manager Andrew Ellis said the influx of visitors had delivered a financial bonanza for the region.

"It is absolutely brilliant for Maryborough the numbers of people coming through the centres,” he said.

"The Anzac walk adds value to world war history buffs as well as the town's general history draw cards.

"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.”

The Tiaro centre also had a strong result in July-August with the number of visitors up 16% on the prior year.

The Hervey Bay visitor centre recorded two $100,000-plus revenue months, selling Fraser Island tours, whale watching experiences, parks permits and momentos of the region.

The August result of $115,002 in sales was a record for the centre and reflected the strong season for whale watching.