Best holiday deals as state opens for business

 

Queensland holiday bookings have soared up to 300 per cent, while a jobs gold rush is on the way as the Sunshine State soaks up an extraordinary surge following the opening of borders to Sydney and Victoria.

With Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday confirming Victorians would join NSW residents in being able to arrive in Queensland from December 1, southerners went on an unprecedented booking blitz, with travel giant Flight Centre recording the highest online sales day for Aussie holidays in its history.

The Gold Coast’s Skypoint Climb leaders Laiken French, Courtney Do and Piper Douglas are gearing up for an influx of tourists in December as the borders open to NSW and Victoria. Picture: Nigel Hallett
The Gold Coast’s Skypoint Climb leaders Laiken French, Courtney Do and Piper Douglas are gearing up for an influx of tourists in December as the borders open to NSW and Victoria. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Village Roadshow theme parks will advertise 500 new casual positions in the coming days, while Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the industry's long-awaited revival was set to create so many jobs it would be a struggle to fill them.

Airlines are also reporting their busiest period since last summer with the holiday hordes expected to generate more than $600 million for the Queensland economy next month alone.

In more good news for Queensland, the state's dreaded border checkpoints will be dismantled from next week, shaving hours off weekly commutes and saving roadtrippers from traffic jams stretching across horizons.

Traffic on the Virgin website in the hours following the reopening of borders to southern cities was the highest in more than 12 months, with Brisbane and the Gold Coast the most searched destinations from Victorian and NSW customers.

Travel companies including Flight Centre and Wotif also reported extraordinary numbers.

Inquiries on Wotif for Port Douglas holidays exploded by almost 300 per cent, while the Gold Coast also experienced a massive surge of more than 220 per cent.

Cairns was also up more than 200 per cent among NSW holiday-makers and 170 per cent among Victorians.

Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said the figures were a vote of confidence in Queensland as a holiday destination as the country emerges from the chokehold of COVID-19.

 

 

"This is the moment the east coast has been waiting for," he said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rush for holiday bookings would be a welcome shot in the arm for the state's tourism sector which has bled billions of dollars since the first travel bans were introduced at the start of the year.

"Tourism is vital to Queensland's economy and supports thousands of local jobs. I know tourism operators across the state have done it particularly tough this year.

"It's great to see that already, this announcement is starting to pay off for tourism operators."

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said since the coronavirus pandemic, the Palaszczuk Government had invested more than half a billion dollars to support struggling tourism businesses throughout the state.

"This is great news for our tourism industry," he said.

"We've done everything we can to support operators through this tough time. Reopening our borders takes it to another level.

"We know that thousands of Australians in our southern states have been itching for a holiday.

"The countdown has begun. Come to Queensland where life is beautiful one day and perfect the next."

Many tourism businesses still have staff stood down on JobKeeper payments who will be called back into action, but already Village Roadshow has confirmed it will advertise about 500 summer positions that were put on ice during the border uncertainty.

Tiahni Wilton has just started a new job at Topgolf Gold Coast and more jobs are expected to come as the borders open and the tourism industry swings back into action. Picture: Nigel Hallett.
Tiahni Wilton has just started a new job at Topgolf Gold Coast and more jobs are expected to come as the borders open and the tourism industry swings back into action. Picture: Nigel Hallett.

Positions ranging from Santa's elves and Carnivale street performers to lifeguards and ride attendants will become available by the end of the month as the company braces for the expected flood of NSW and Victorian tourists over the Christmas holidays.

The jobs bonanza is expected to flow on to the company's Topgolf attraction between Movie World and Wet'n'Wild.

Some tourism operators had told The Courier-Mail they had been preparing to lay staff off heading into Christmas, but would now see them return to work to cater for the expected increase in trade.

Mr Gschwind said that could create the enviable position of Queensland's tourism industry having more jobs available than people to fill them.

"There is cause for enormous optimism now," he said.

"Particularly without the international students or backpackers, there will be jobs to the degree that it will be a challenge to fill them all."

SkyPoint at Q1 in Surfers Paradise has endured a slow period with the loss of international and interstate visitors, but it is hoped the easing of border restrictions will see a boost in crowd numbers over the traditionally busy summer holiday period.

 

 

Queensland's best holiday deals

 

CHEAP - BELOW $1000

Rydges Cairns - $499pp for 7 nights. Includes visit to Cairns Aquarium and more bonuses

 

Paradise Links Port Douglas - $299pp for 5 nights. Includes a Wildlife Habitat Tour and more bonuses

 

Ultiqa Air on Broadbeach - $299pp for 3 nights. Includes entry to the Skypoint Observation Deck and two drinks, plus more bonuses

 

MID RANGE - BELOW $2000

Novotel CAIRNS - $699 for 7 nights. Includes 2 full day cruises and more bonuses

 

Sheraton Mirage Grand Resort Gold Coast - $599pp for 5 nights. Includes Skypoint Observation Deck and more bonuses

 

Sofitel Noosa - $599pp for 3 nights. Includes $150 in resort credits and more bonuses.

 

LUXURY - NO LIMIT

Allamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore - $999pp FOR 5 nights. Includes reef cruise and more bonuses

 

Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas - $1490pp for 7 nights. Includes two full day cruises and more bonuses

 

Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Cairns - $690pp for 5 nights. Includes a full day reef cruise and more

 

* Visit myqldholiday.com.au for these deals and more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Best holiday deals as state opens for business


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