Noosa revels in 30% tourism revenue boost
TOURISM Noosa's long-term strategy to bolster yield over volume has resulted in a year-on-year 30% in revenue to $940 million.
CEO Damien Massingham said the northern end of the Sunshine Coast was enjoying a fantastic summer season to bring a strong end to a 2016 which has seen strong growth in visitor numbers and spend across the region.
Mr Massingham said the decision to seek value over volume had seen the sector target high yield markets in Sydney, Melbourne and internationally.
"The last two quarters have seen significant growth," he said.
"The total tourism spend is now $940m which is a 30% increase year on year."
The performance is reflected in Sunshine Coast Airport passenger numbers with manager Peter Pallot estimating more than 50,000 passenger movements occurred during the two week period leading into Christmas and post New Year.
The Noosa result has taken more than a slick, well-targeted marketing campaign.
Mr Massingham said it had been achieved through hard work and a financial commitment to get the product and level of service to the standard required.
He estimates more than $100 million has been spent in Hastings St along in the past two years with refurbishment to Seahaven Resort, the Sofitel rebadging of the former Sheraton Resort and on a range of new restaurants and bars.
Investment had also poured into boutique resorts at Sunshine Beach and Peregian.
"There's been a lot of hard work," Mr Massingham said.
"Tourists won't spend unless the quality of service and product is there."
He said what was happening in Noosa was also occurring across the Sunshine Coast.
The strategic approach mirrors that adopted by Tourism New Zealand in 2013 to invest in the premium sector targeting the top 10% of the world's wealthy.
The Kiwi experience found that high value tourists' total daily spend was greater than the average whole-of-holiday spend by visitors.
The 29 members of the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand group saw revenues grow 20.3% year to year for its 2015-16 summer.
Mr Massingham said everyone who lived and worked in Noosa loved the place and wanted to ensure visitors loved to continue coming for holidays.
"We need to maintain the beauty of the place to ensure it is not over loved and that people will continue to come here and have a great time, spend and create and retain jobs," he said.
"It's a long-term strategy and it's working."
Mr Massingham said it was easy to explain this summer's success on everything from the Australian dollar to the weather.
"But when you compare the numbers across Queensland which are showing increases of 5-7%, Noosa is 30% up," he said.
While the weather and the Australian dollar were factors, Mr Massingham said against other destinations the result on the Sunshine Coast and in Noosa particularly had been a consequence of a lot of hard work in the industry.
"You can't control the external factors but you can look after great service and great product," he said.
"We have focused on repeat visitation. There is a fantastic product on the Sunshine Coast and particularly in Noosa that delivers a great, safe, family holiday.
"It's not safe internationally. People want and need holidays and where better than the Sunshine Coast."