Schoolies boost our economy

256 schoolies went out to the Knuckle Reef pontoon on Tuesday for an exclusive schoolies charter.
256 schoolies went out to the Knuckle Reef pontoon on Tuesday for an exclusive schoolies charter.

SCHOOLIES from around the State have been boosting the local economy through their celebrations in Airlie Beach and have been making the most of what the Whitsundays has to offer, according to event organiser Nicole Graham.

Ms Graham said the school leavers were an “energetic bunch” but had been using all the facilities on offer to them.

“The red frog stage has had 2000 plus kids each night and the Magnums dance parties have had about 1000 kids each night,” she said.

“We guesstimate the kids have between $1000-$1500 each to spend during schoolies so you times that by $2800 and that's a fair amount of money being put back into the local economy.”

While they may have been spending their nights partying, they have also been spending their money during the day.

Cruise Whitsundays had a schoolies-only reef cruise on Tuesday and regional sales manager Mercedes Ireland said it was booked out within the first two days of schoolies.

“They were extremely well behaved,” she said.

“The line up for the waterslide was right across the sun-deck so that was popular, and they slept all the way home.”

Fantasea Adventure Cruising had also reported strong numbers of schoolies on their Reef and Whitehaven Beach trips.

Meanwhile, McDonalds has still proven to be the meal of choice for many of the teenagers but Airlie Beach franchise owner Mike Muller said it wasn't a record breaker in terms of sales.

“We have been very busy but not as busy as last year,” he said.

“Last year was our best ever schoolies and this year we're not going to beat that.”

What they said

Whitsunday police officer senior sergeant Steve O'Connell

“Our numbers are up from last year. The vast majority have been behaving well with strong attendance at dance parties.”

Airlie Beach McDonald's owner Mike Muller -

“We're still very busy but not as busy as we have been. Store managers' feedback was that sales were down on last year.”

Schoolies event organiser Nicole Graham -

“They are an energetic bunch. They have been using all the facilities. It is the most amount of schoolies we've had.”

Fantasea Adventure Cruising spokesman Jamie Ashton –

“They have all been really well behaved.”

Cruise Whitsundays Regional Sales Manager Mercedes Ireland –

“They were extremely well behaved. We were very impressed.”

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