G20 gets Brisbanites on the move to Sunshine Coast
BRISBANITES looking to avoid the biggest political event in the city's history are turning to a Sunshine Coast escape.
Accommodation providers are preparing for full booking sheets over the G20 weekend next month.
An exodus of locals escaping from the Queensland capital, where world leaders and their delegations will gather for the summit, is set to create a tourism boom for the Coast.
Forward bookings from Brisbane are strong for the weekend of November 15-16, in a welcome injection for during a traditionally quieter month.
Friday, November 14, has been declared a public holiday for people who work in the Brisbane City Council area.
Thousands will be taking the opportunity for an additional long weekend away and the chance to avoid potential mass protests and security operations.
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited chief executive Simon Ambrose said bookings were "solid" for the G20 weekend.
"We've been doing special promotions into the region to encourage people to come here as part of the Vacation Migration campaign and that started just in time for people to get their G20 bookings in," he said.
"It will be a boost for us. November can often be quiet because the holidays are over and people are starting to think about Christmas now."
Caloundra's Rumba Resort director Bill Darby said "the whole Coast" is experiencing a very high level of inquiries and bookings for the G20 weekend.
"The long weekend has brought additional visitors to the Coast and while we are usually busy on long weekends, we never see forward bookings like we have for the G20," he said.
"We were almost fully booked two months in advance."
Mantra Group area manager Ryan Newton said the demand for accommodation across all six of the Mantra Group's Sunshine Coast properties were exceptionally high for the G20 weekend.
"While weekend accommodation at Mantra Group properties on the Sunshine Coast is typically in high demand, the G20 has undoubtedly stimulated stronger demand for accommodation at Mantra Group's Sunshine Coast resorts and it is evident that the Brisbane market are capitalising on the long weekend and taking the opportunity to take a short break on the Coast," he said.
Oaks Hotels and Resorts area director of sales and marketing Rachelle Cole said the G20 has been "by far" one of the biggest occupancy-driving events this year.
The three-day event is producing exceptional results ... as participants flock to Brisbane and surrounding regions and Brisbane residents seek resort-style accommodation within the immediate drive market."
"Weekends always deliver strong occupancy for Oaks Oasis (Caloundra) largely because of its beachside location, premier resort facilities and the recent addition of a fantastic water play ground for the kids, so it is hard to say if G20 has fuelled this increased demand, however, to my knowledge there are no other major events happening over that weekend, so it's logical to say it could be the catalyst."