Fraser Coast has global appeal as visitor numbers soar
PATRICK Janke is one of many overseas travellers who has made Fraser Coast a must-see destination on their Australian journey.
Here from Germany, the 24-year-old spent the last four months in Brisbane and is using his time in Hervey Bay to unwind and relax.
"I have spent a lot of time at the beach, and went to the local CrossFit gym a few times," he said.
He has also been to Fraser Island.
"I did a tour and saw the dingoes and the rainforest parts; it was really good," he said.
This is actually Mr Janke's second time in Hervey Bay, after first giving the region a visit three years ago.
After arriving in the region on Tuesday, he and a friend will leave for Cairns tomorrow.
The number of international visitors coming to the Fraser Coast area has grown by 3.8% in the past 12 months from September.
Data released in the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) shows the Fraser Coast recorded 136,000 overseas visitors in that time.
Many of these, like Mr Janke, are from Germany.
United Kingdom and New Zealand are our other popular markets.
There has been a 7.8% increase in visitors from the United Kingdom and a 5.5% rise in German visitors.
Businesses offering backpacker accommodation have particularly felt the rise.
Palace Hostels located on Bideford St offers Fraser Island tours with bookings.
Employee Brad Williamson said these deals were extremely popular among travellers as many travellers were keen to see the famous island.
"Our tours around Christmas time are pretty much booked out," Mr Williamson said.
"There won't be tours leaving the Bay on Christmas Day, but there will be plenty of backpackers already on the island.
"The hostel is pretty close to capacity most nights. Out of 100 beds, we might have about 15 that are still free."
Fraser Coast's new budget motel Buzzers co-owner Stephanie Dakin said international travellers made up a large portion of their customers.
"They're here from all over the world; Scotland, Russia, Netherlands, Italy. There is definitely a lot from England and Germany.
"Most of the rooms are booked out around Christmas.
"If they're not off to Fraser Island, travellers like going out relaxing on the beach and going to the local pubs and restaurants."
Having opened the business four months ago, Ms Dakin said the high travel numbers didn't come as a surprise.
In the same 12-month period, the Fraser Coast benefited from $39.8 million in direct expenditure from international visitors, which was down by 6.4% on the year prior.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said economic benefits from more travellers had been felt.
"As more visitors descend on the city, we are seeing the economic benefits in our local businesses," he said.
"Hotels and the accommodation sector have benefited from a 17% increase in visitor nights to 657,000."