‘SENSATIONAL’: School holidays strong for Whitsundays
SCHOOL holiday bookings across the region are going from strength to strength despite coronavirus with one owner saying she had a waiting list long enough to fill every room twice.
Data from Stayz has revealed that from 169 holiday rentals in Airlie Beach, only 30 remain unbooked for the first week of the school holidays.
The trend continued in Proserpine and Bowen where there was only one property available for visitors looking for a Whitsunday escape.
Caravan parks and hotels across the region reported a similar demand with Coral Cove Apartments manager Kate Lindsay saying there had been an influx of bookings for the September school holidays.
"We've got a huge waiting list and we could have at least filled the rooms out twice over," she said.
"Virtually around the Horseshoe Bay area others are finding the same which is really lovely."
Ms Lindsay attributed the boost in some part to border closures as people are holidaying in their own backyard.
She also said there had been many return visitors over the past few months as travellers from overseas and interstate make their way up and down the coast.
The strong bookings had also stretched into what was typically a quieter time before Christmas with inquiries already coming in for October and November.
In Airlie Beach, BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort owner operator Greg McKinnon said the school holiday period was looking "sensational".
"People have found out Airlie Beach is the place to be this time of the year," he said.
"September has always been a big holiday for us … so certainly September is a wonderful, wonderful time for us and all caravan parks on the east coast of Australia."
Mr McKinnon said overall numbers in the caravan park from July to September were down.
However, bookings for September matched the 2019 figures despite COVID restrictions.
"We're still very, very happy with it," he said.
"It's a great outcome because what happens then is it filters right through.
"We'll have 800 people in the park every day over that period, that's 800 people that are going off and spending money every day in our restaurants, cafes, tours and souvenir shops."
Proserpine Tourist Park owner Shirley Long was also positive about the upcoming holidays.
While the park had lower visitor numbers, she said there were more visitors and workers staying long term to help bolster numbers during restrictions.
"As it is at the moment, it's not looking too bad," Mrs Long said.
"We've been sitting about 50 per cent the whole way through … so considering all that's happening with no southerners up here I think it's going pretty good."