TOURISM BOOM: Southern Downs’ new crown
THE Southern Downs’ popularity has risen through COVID-19 restrictions, with the region declared the number on travel destination in Australia.
Between June 1 and August 31 this year, Stanthorpe was the number one trending ‘rediscovered’ destination in the country according to data released by Booking.com.
The increase in demand has been felt by motel providers across the region who remain booked out despite nearing the end of the tourism peak.
Stanthorpe’s Stannum Lodge Motor Inn owner Mark Ammerman said the pattern of when guests were heading to the region had changed since intrastate restrictions eased.
“We’re getting people coming from Brisbane and the Gold Coast that are literally coming for two- or three-days midweek,” Mr Ammerman said.
“When lockdown got eased, people were getting out and they’re just coming for that time away.
“The trade is really exceeding what it was last year.”
The proximity of the Southern Downs to metropolitan regions and the variety of family-friendly activities continues to draw new and old tourists to town.
Mr Ammerman said businesses had been comforted by the increased number of return travellers.
“Even people that have been out here three months ago, we’re still having visitors come back which is really good to see,” he said.
“It’s also good for our staff because they have work which is putting more money into the local economy – it is a definite flow on effect.”
Booking.com area manager Luke Wilson said it was encouraging to see so many Australians travelling their own country.
“2020 has proved that the happiness travel brings can’t be measured in kilometres,” Mr Wilson said.
“There are plenty of Aussie adventures to be had in our own backyard.”
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