DESPITE turtle numbers being lower than recent years, Mon Repos is preparing to welcome a record number of visitors this season.
So far 25,123 visitors have passed through Mon Repos, just shy of the all-time record number of 25,889 visitors during the 2009/2010 season.
Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager James Corvan said it was a huge milestone given the disastrous effect the floods had on the previous season's numbers.
"It's doubly pleasing after such a terrible year last year," he said.
"It's great to bounce back so fast and regroup from the flood situation.
"We had hoped to improve on last season but to break the record would be really pleasing."
While Mr Corvan attributed the success to a wonderful team effort, Councillor Greg Barnes said Mr Corvan should accept a lot of the credit.
"It's huge, if we can break the record full credit must go to James Corvan," he said
"It's been his work and dedication that's convinced Tourism Queensland and the Queensland Government of the value of the turtles as a Queensland icon and drawcard for the Bundaberg region," Cr Barnes said.
Cr Barnes was hopeful the record number of visitors would be passed next week.
"Going off recent visitor numbers, we're set to break the record mid next week," he said.
"The turtles are a drawcard that appeals to the whole family.
"The region needs an icon like this to draw visitors off the highway."
Mr Corvan agreed the turtles were becoming a "must do" and the flow-on effects for the rest of the region were huge.
"Visitors coming to Bundaberg for the turtles also visit a lot of other attractions," he said.
With the turtle season extended until April 9, bookings for the Easter period are looking promising.
To book your Mon Repos turtle experience, call 41538888.
Turtle visitor numbers
2011/2012 (to date): 25,123