THE September school holidays are shaping up to be a bumper spring season for the Capricorn Coast and Great Keppel Island.
Fundraisers, spring break and great weather teamed with 700 vehicles (1400 people) for the National Caravan Rally visiting Rockhampton Showgrounds from the September 24 to October 1 this year, have meant pre-bookings and walk-ins on the Freedom Fastcats to Great Keppel Island on Saturday, September 28 alone is up to 700 passengers.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said the region had not seen numbers like these going to Great Keppel Island for many years.
"I am thrilled for our operators who have worked so hard to provide improved product on the island and a variety of cruises and activities servicing Keppel Bay," Ms Carroll said.
The official visitor statistics from Tourism and Events Queensland for the March 2013 quarter showed a growth of 4% in domestic visitor numbers to the Southern Great Barrier Region.
The visiting friends and relatives (VFR) sector has shown very high growth, as well as business visitors to the destination.
Visitation to the Capricorn Coast over winter has been strong, thanks also to magnificent weather, and this is expected to continue for the remainder of the year.
Ms Carroll said our destination had fared well compared to other regions throughout Queensland and confidence on the Capricorn Coast was reflected in the new accommodation developments and businesses shaping the Capricorn Coast.
"In partnership with business, local government and community over the next six months, we will create a Destination Tourism Plan for the Capricorn Region which will be a blue-print for future tourism markets, growth and development of our tourism portfolio," Ms Carroll said.
In the lead up to the National Caravan Rally, visiting the region the region has already secured $30,000 of bookings for local tours and further bookings are expected closer to the event.
Ms Carroll said Capricorn Enterprise were coordinating group bookings for day cruises on Freedom Fastcats, Byfield day tours, Rockhampton Heritage tours, Great Western Hotel rodeo night, Capricorn Caves, Dreamtime, Mount Morgan and Mount Hay.
"Participants will also be taking in many of the other attractions available to the region during their visit via Little Johnny's Tours and self drive," Ms Carroll said.