Hollywood stars Chris and Liam Hemsworth headed north to Rainbow Beach with family and friends for a weekend getaway this month. Picture: Instagram @aprilmun
Hollywood stars Chris and Liam Hemsworth headed north to Rainbow Beach with family and friends for a weekend getaway this month. Picture: Instagram @aprilmun

Hollywood superstars give major boost to Gympie tourism

HOLLYWOOD superstars Chris and Liam Hemsworth's recent weekend getaway to Rainbow Beach has delivered a much-needed boost to the coastal part of the Gympie region, which has struggled with the collapse of tourism during COVID-19 restrictions.

Chris Hemsworth, wife Elsa Pataky and children India, Sasha and Tristan wasted no time in heading north to set up camp at Rainbow Beach when the Queensland borders opened earlier this month.

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Joined by brother Liam Hemsworth and friends Luke and April Munro, the group shared pictures of days spent camping, surfing and exploring the town on social media.

With a combined following of 57 million, a post about Rainbow Beach by the Hemsworth brothers is invaluable in terms of attracting tourists and new coast councillor Jess Milne said it was excellent for the whole region.

"Celebrity endorsement for any region is absolutely gold," Ms Milne said.

"Especially this organic exposure.

"They're not paid to be here, they're bringing their families.

"It endorses that this is a great place to holiday."

Tourism development manager Andrew Saunders said a snap of a sunset at Rainbow Beach taken by Liam had done more to publicise the region to potential tourists than any other campaign of its kind.

A photo of Chris posted by Rainbow Beach's Rob Gough, aka The Ice Man, also received hundreds of likes and shares.

Ms Milne said the photos shared by the brothers of the sunset and their holiday showed how fun, warm and inviting the Gympie region is.

Rainbow Beach's The Ice Man met Chris Hemsworth when he stopped to buy ice-cream earlier this month.
Rainbow Beach's The Ice Man met Chris Hemsworth when he stopped to buy ice-cream earlier this month.

"It's a great place to get away and it's family friendly and isolated," she said.

"If a celebrity like Chris feels comfortable here [during COVID-19], it shows other people they can.

"It just goes with the whole Gympie region feel, we're a real, wholesome place."

Ms Milne said the region has seen high numbers of tourists over June and July, and a lot of visitors were first-timers.

"From my understanding we're actually exceeding what we usually get [visitor numbers] in June/July," she said.

"There's an influx of people wanting to get away, a lot of new visitors."

Ms Milne said visitors usually came from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and out west, but she thinks the new tourists were probably bored during isolation and looked for new places to travel to.

"How that's going to follow through to August and September, with everyone that's going on, you can't predict," she said.

Ms Milne said tourism slowed during these months before the next school holidays, and this year the region would not be getting the flow-on effect from the Gympie Music Muster.

Gympie Times


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