The Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre.
The Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre.

Capricornia ‘flourishing’ under increased tourism

TOURISM in Capricornia seems to be building momentum as thousands arrive from across the state and day-trippers book in to visit Great Keppel Island.

A total of 2071 holiday makers – an increase of 667 compared with 2019 – checked in at the Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre in September to find out more about what was on offer in the region.

With an average number of 69 enquiries per day at the information centre, 1524 travellers arrived from throughout Queensland, and 229 locals explored their own backyard.

Those remaining came from other parts of the country.

The Capricorn Coast’s commercial beds were completely booked out during the September school holidays, and bookings to Great Keppel Island remained especially popular.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said she had noticed a buzz about town since the tourism sector returned to less-restricted business back in June.

“The destination is truly flourishing, and it’s so wonderful to see high numbers of visitors and locals coming to experience our patch and enjoy all of the fabulous offerings,” she said.

“It’s encouraging to see that Queenslanders are continuing to support Queensland, thinking outside the box and moving beyond the usual drawcards and spending their days exploring our emerging hot spots.

“The increase in visitation over the month of September has provided a great boost for local businesses and is helping to contribute to our again strong economy.”

Visiting friends and relatives from Rockhampton added thousands of daily visitors to nearby attractions, resulting in many operators enjoying record numbers: Koorana increased its tours from two to four a day, and Keppel Konnections implemented an additional ferry service to keep up with demand.

Keppel Konnections general manager Kelly Harris said restrictions easing in June was “just like turning the tap back on”.

“We had good momentum going into COVID but we were anxious about what coming out the COVID period would be like,” he said.

“October looks like it’ll be stronger than September.”

He said that starting next week, a 7.30am ferry would depart from the mainland every day.