I Spy Claims Tourism Up 31%; but Operators Question Statistics as Promo Set for Rerun

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicole Fuge

A TOURISM campaign which reputedly boosted visitor numbers by more than 30% is set to be repeated on the Sunshine Coast.

But some local operators arenat sure Queensland Tourismas aI Spya promotion is all itas cracked up to be.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Jann Stuckey yesterday unveiled plans to repeat the promotion, which involves more than 400 Queensland holiday deals, including adrive holidaysa to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne travellers.

aParticipating operators from the Sunshine Coast recorded a 31.5% increase in bookings compared to the year prior,a she said.

But that has left some tourism operators asking a who are the aparticipating operatorsa hitting the bookings lottery.

Mooloolaba Business and Tourism chairman Bernie Sullivan, who manages Newport Apartments, said he doubted there had been 30% growth in business.

aI canat say my business has done that well, we held our own but I donat want to skite about it,a he said.

Mr Sullivan said if the figures were inclusive of visitation to the Coast, they would be more accurate. But he found it hard to believe operators experienced that increase on bookings alone.

While accommodation houses were seeing growth, Mr Sullivan said other tourism businesses were still feeling the pinch.

aSome restaurateurs and businesses in Mooloolaba would like to see an improvement on where they are, but theyare holding their own,a he said. …