Coast businessman predicts tourism boom for next five years
A YEPPOON restaurant has reported a huge influx of bookings in the last six weeks with the owner predicting it could stay this busy for the next five years.
While some cities and states are in lockdown with COVID-19, travel is open for Queenslanders to travel within the state.
It has in turn been a blessing, according to Ross O’Reilly of Beaches Bistro at Rosslyn Bay.
Mr O’Reilly said business had been “hard to keep up with” and they were struggling to get staff.
“We have had a lot of people travelling, it’s hard to get a room in town, the restaurant has been really busy,” he said.
“We nearly have to have double staff on that we had prior to Covid, a lot has to do with extra requirements but we are also just doing a lot bigger numbers than we were doing pre-Covid.”
Mr O’Reilly strongly believes it is going to be this way for a “long time”.
Many of the restaurant customers have said they would normally go to Fiji or Bali, but due to international travel restrictions and uncertainty with the virus, they were driving up the coast of Queensland instead.
“They are all saying the same thing …. They have forgotten how beautiful it is in our own backyard,” Mr O’Reilly said.
“I reckon we are in five years of this at least.
“It’s going to be a couple of years before we are able to travel overseas easily again and so many people are going to be reluctant to actually go overseas for a while.
“Also people are enjoying holidaying at home and there will be repeat customers.”
Mr O’Reilly said his business didn’t rely heavily on international tourists so they hadn’t been as affected by the travel restrictions.
“We never had that so we haven’t lost that, we have picked up all the Australian tourism and the Queensland sector of the market,” he said.
It was flowing through to the real estate market, Mr O’Reilly said.
“There is no land for sale down here, developers are hurrying developing more land and the houses are selling as soon as they come on the market with back-up contracts and multiple offers,” he said.
“There are no rental properties in Yeppoon or Rockhampton.”