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28th October 2021

Queenslanders are heading to the Sunshine Coast with last-minute bookings for the region surging ahead of the People’s Long Weekend.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Sunshine Coast tourism operators had reported an influx of bookings in the two months since the date change of the Ekka Show Holiday had been announced.

“The decision to cancel the Ekka and move the People’s Day Public Holiday from August to October due to an outbreak of the deadly Delta strain was tough to make,” the Premier said.

“We recognise Queensland’s tourism industry has been doing it tough. Moving People’s Day to October to create a long weekend means the sector won’t miss out on a much-needed boost, with the weekend set to deliver a $130 million windfall into the state’s economy.

“I’m advised that many tourism operators are reporting strong bookings on the Sunshine Coast. This is great news but there’s still plenty of time to book a holiday at home this year.

“There are only 50 days left until our state reopens to the rest of Australia. I urge all Queenslanders – if you can, please get out and support local businesses and local workers this long weekend.”

According to tourism data and anecdotal reports from Sunshine Coast tourism operators, the destination is reaping the benefits and nearing capacity, buoyed by local events such as the Noosa Tri and inaugural Buskers on the Lake, also taking place this weekend.

The Gold Coast’s tourist parks continue to be heavily booked with accommodation at family resorts very popular. But there is still plenty of vacancies for those who might be thinking of booking at the last minute.

The Premier said another way Queenslanders could support the State’s tourism industry was to continue to come out in force to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Vaccination saves lives. They’re the key to rebuilding our economy and reuniting families.

“If you’re yet to get vaccinated, you have two days to get a jab to be protected by the time or borders open on December 17.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said while bookings were strong in many places, there was still capacity at a number of the state’s most iconic tourism destinations.

“We know that last year’s People’s Long Weekend had a tremendous impact on Queensland’s economy and our tourism and hospitality industries, with a 31 per cent increase in Queenslanders holidaying at home and a 62 per cent increase in the amount of money spent here by Queenslanders,” he said.

“While bookings are coming through thick and fast ahead of this year’s long weekend, there is still some occupancy across the Sunshine Coast and Queensland’s many other tourism regions, from the Outback and up to the Far North.

“I encourage Queenslanders to support the industry and book a holiday at home this long weekend, whether it’s to the bush, the beach or rainforest.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the People’s Long Weekend would deliver strong benefits for the Sunshine Coast.

“Tourism is a cornerstone of our local economy. That’s why our decision to shift the People’s Day public holiday is so important.

“The People’s Long Weekend is already having a great impact on the Sunshine Coast.

“But there’s plenty of time left to book a great holiday or a day trip. I encourage all Queenslanders looking for a break to head to Caloundra and experience everything the Sunshine Coast has to offer.”

Member for Nicklin Robert Skelton said Queensland’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic had set the state on a strong path to economic recovery.

“Thanks to the way locals have responded to the pandemic, our economy is open and we’re able to explore our own state,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I encourage Queenslanders to get out and enjoy this weekend.”

Queensland hit the 60 per cent double dose milestone this week with Queenslanders being urged to do their part by continuing to come forward, getting vaccinated and protecting themselves and their loved ones.

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