Rockhampton ‘trending’ as travel interest soars in region
ROCKHAMPTON is experiencing "unprecedented" tourist demand, according to a hotel booking website.
Research by Brisbane-based Wotif indicated Queenslanders' interest in visiting Rockhampton multiplied nine times in the latter half of June compared with the first half.
That made Rockhampton the fifth-most 'trending' location, behind Hervey Bay, Brisbane, Ballandean, and Stanthorpe.
Judging by Wotif's accommodation demand for July 1 to July 19, the Beef Capital was the sixth most popular school holiday destination in the state.
Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said Rockhampton was the "perfect destination for a low-key family adventure".
"Rockhampton offers something for the whole family to enjoy, with exceptional dining along the river, beautiful botanical gardens and the family favourite Rockhampton Zoo," he said.
"Queensland has always been one of Australia's strongest tourism destinations and we know there is a big job ahead to support the tourism industry, so it's fantastic to see families are making the most of the school holidays and enjoying a much-deserved break in their own state."
Interstate travel interest increased too: that of New South Wales travellers rose nearly 70 per cent in the 24 hours after last week's border opening announcement.
"After spending months indoors, Aussies have a new-found appreciation for domestic travel and are keen to get out and enjoy a local adventure," Mr Finch said.
"While travel demand is returning for the country's regular hot spots, many regional areas like Rockhampton are seeing unprecedented interest on the site."
The data were from searches made on Wotif, though the number of searches was not given.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said Central Queensland spots such as the Capricorn Coast and Carnarvon Gorge were bringing visitors through Rockhampton, and bookings were "very strong" for the next three months.
"Queenslanders certainly have been supporting Queenslanders," she said.
"We've had fantastic June-July school holidays.
"It's predominantly leisure bookings for people passing through Rockhampton on a bigger trip.
"Our direct marketing efforts in Central Queensland and South East Queensland through TV, digital, and radio have really resonated."
Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow said Advance Rockhampton had really pushed Rockhampton as a destination in its own right.
"We have seen advertising supported by the state government which has really focused on the beaches. We felt it was important to match that with modern, fresh advertising which was just about us," Cr Strelow said.
"The recent social media and television advertising campaigns have hit the mark.
"We've seen a significant uptake in engagement with our social media platforms and it's encouraging to see that that is flowing through to real bookings.
"We shouldn't underestimate the importance of our key points of difference.
"The recreational fishing market has been very strong for us and mountain bike trails are a growing drawcard as well."