Tourism drop stings Mooloolaba
MOOLOOLABA is driven by tourism and the falling number of visitors each year is making the region uneasy.
Mooloolaba Business and Tourism president Bernie Sullivan said there had been a decline in tourist numbers in the past four years.
He said Mooloolaba was sitting on a 27.5% drop which he attributed to the economic downturn and a lack of visibility for the central region of the Coast.
"The graphs show we are in freefall. The economy here is very dependent on tourism," Mr Sullivan said.
"Right across the school holiday time it has been quiet.
"There are people still coming into Mooloolaba, but they are doing day trips rather than enjoying a break."
Mr Sullivan said much work needed to be done to brand the central region compared to the northern and southern areas of the Coast.
Mr Sullivan said they had received a push from Sunshine Coast Destination Limited as individual areas were now able to brand their region with the support of operators.
"Mooloolaba has gone to New Zealand in a publication with 12 operators who have advertising," he said.
He said he was looking forward to working with the new Sunshine Coast Council to help boost tourism which contributes billions of dollars into the economy.
SC Destinations CEO Steve Cooper said that figures showed that to the end of last year the Sunshine Coast tourism economy increased for domestic overnight visitors by 4.7% on the previous period.
He said international overnight visitors had remained a challenge for tourism across Australia with the strength of the dollar.
In this period the Sunshine Coast had a 16.5% decrease in this area.
"In 2004-2005, there was a peak for all tourism regions across the Sunshine Coast due to a strong economy," he said.
"There is no doubt that since this time, the central region has seen a downward trend but in the period ending December 2011, figures have started to reverse with a 2.3% increase for the year end December 2011."
He said Sunshine Coast branding for each sub-region had been developed for Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Cotton Tree and surrounds.