The Sunshine Coast's $250,000 Christmas gift
JUST in time for Christmas, the Sunshine Coast has been given a $250,000 boost thanks to the last cruise ship of the year.
P&O's Pacific Jewel moored off Mooloolaba yesterday morning with many of the passengers heading to the cruise ship markets before making their way to the esplanade.
Market manager Jenny Nott said the visits had a welcome impact on the economy with travellers spending their money at local stores and restaurants, to the tune of an estimated $250,000.
"It's lovely to see the passengers come through, heaps of people say they haven't come to the Coast before," she said.
"It probably doubles our business, we put a lot of work into it."
Two out of seven ships visiting the area this year have been unable to moor due to weather conditions, but Ms Nott said she was happy with what the markets had been able to achieve this year.
"It goes out through social media, we put signs all around," she said.
"We get a great turn out and support from the locals and all the people who are holidaying here."
Stallholder Cathy Ralson, who runs Isby Designs, said the markets had been "doing really well" with many tourists, some her regulars, picking up some last minute gifts.
"We had a couple this morning that had gotten off the cruise ship from Melbourne that normally travel up here during Christmas to see their family," she said.
"So they actually buy off us every year."
Although the diversion of some cruise ships caused a small dent in sales over the year, Ms Ralson said locals had picked up the slack.
"We had a lot of support from the locals still," she said.
"Even though the cruise ship didn't dock, it was still a good market."
Mia Swanson of Photos by Mia shared similar sentiments of local support.
"I had a lot of people (locals) they come through on their exercise bikes or their mornings runs and stuff and came back with their wallets," she said.
The next cruise ship is due to arrive on February 25 which coincides with the Mooloolaba Esplanade Sunday market.