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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Easter holiday boom

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IF FLIGHT passenger numbers so far are anything to go by, the Whitsundays is in for a bumper holiday period.

The first weekend of the Easter school holidays was a good one for Whitsunday Coast Airport, according to chief operating officer aviation and tourism Craig Turner.

“It was a good weekend – probably comparable to last Easter,” Mr Turner said.

“What we have found across all routes is that the load factors are very high – all planes are full – especially from Cairns, which could reflect the fact that international visitors are coming back and transiting via the international airport in Cairns.

“Load factors are high in our traditional markets, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but also in our newer markets, such as Newcastle and the Sunshine Coast, where the load factors are also good.

“All in all, the tourism industry would have seen the effect of these passengers moving through the airport.”

Mr Turner said Lake Proserpine was ‘pumping’ over the weekend.

“There would have been 300 people out there on Saturday – a lot of people were camping and others were using the day facilities, such as boat hire and water sports hire.

“The Whitsundays caters for a wide range of markets – including families, honeymooners and adventure travellers – all kinds of holidaymakers not just one market, which is working well.

“It [good passenger numbers] is definitely a good kick-off for Easter and we can expect it to run now for the next three weeks. It should be a good Easter holiday period.”

The region’s lead marketing agency Tourism Whitsunday echoed the sentiments, with accommodation providers recording 90 per cent occupancy. 

“The Whitsundays has enjoyed a bustling Easter long weekend, with our data sources showing an average of up to 90 per cent occupancy across the four-day period,” Tourism Whitsundays CEO Rick Hamilton said.

“Looking forward, the outlook for the rest of the school holidays looks positive, with a predicted 70+ per cent occupancy rate.

“These figures are encouraging, as we are seeing seasonal swings coming back outside of school holidays.”

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