Island in spotlight: cash windfall predicted for businesses

THE region's tourism boss says Prince Harry's visit will do for Fraser Island what his mother did for Diana's Beach in Greece.

Because the heritage-listed island will be the only Queensland destination Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will visit in their 12-day Down Under tour next month, Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the Fraser Coast is in the line for a major economic windfall.

He said the visit would create a flow-on effect to the region's businesses because of the influence of social media and independent travellers.

 

Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island.
Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island. Contributed

"(On average) About 730,000 international and overnight visitors come here, they spend about $430 million, so another thousand is $6000, another 10,000 is $6 million, and that's in direct tourism spending," he said.

"There's been a great growth in free independent travellers in China, and one of the biggest drivers is social media to show it off to other people.

"It is a draw card that will bring other people."

Mr Simons said the newlyweds would help "raise the profile of the Island".

Martin Simons (g/mgr. Fraser Coast Tourism and Events).
Martin Simons (g/mgr. Fraser Coast Tourism and Events). Alistair Brightman

"Fraser Island is one of the top places in the world with a pristine natural environment and more freshwater lakes than anywhere else in Australia," Mr Simons said.

"Celebrity tourism has a big impact, think of Diana's beach, a small beach in Greece which was not known before she came.

"It's now very well known, and him (Prince Harry) coming here will be a great thing."

The Royals will stop on Fraser Island on October 22 after visiting Sydney.

It is not known if the Royals will stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort during their visit.



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