By Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Bundaberg Region is preparing for a massive summer, with more tourists than ever predicted to flock to town to experience the magic of turtle season on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Advance bookings for the internationally renowned Mon Repos Turtle Encounter this summer are nearly double on the same period for the 2017/18 season, which the tourism industry is chalking up to a strong destination marketing campaign, as well as the ever-growing profile of the region as one of Queensland’s most exciting up-and-coming places to holiday.
The strong ticket bookings are spread consistently across the whole of the season to the end of March, with plenty of availability still, even in the peak periods of December and January, and key interest is coming from the South East Corner with over 50% of bookings made from Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast regions.
The Mon Repos Turtle Encounter is the only ranger-led turtle encounter on Australia’s East Coast and is run each summer from November to March by the staff and volunteers of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. The program is instrumental in the research into turtle conservation, specifically the endangered Loggerhead turtles that frequent Mon Repos beach and the shores and islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Katherine Reid, General Manager of Bundaberg Tourism said “Our Turtle Encounter attracts around 30,000 people each season, with over 25,000 of those travelling from outside of the Bundaberg region to witness this miracle on our shores.”
“The strong numbers for the 2018/19 season are showing us that not only is our destination marketing campaign working, despite a tighter budget than in previous years, but that the reputation of the experience and of the whole region is getting significant traction both in Australia and around the world.”
“The Bundaberg region offers a unique tourism experience, being so close to Brisbane and the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and years of hard work by the whole of the tourism industry to develop world-class experiences and let the world know they’re here are really paying off.”
The region as a whole is expecting a strong summer season, with accommodation houses looking forward to the annual influx of school holiday vacationers, and tours and attractions expecting to see the flow on effects from the start of school holidays this weekend.
Loni Hammond, Business Director of Kellys Beach Resort said, “After 9 months of continuous growth, we are excited by a strong summer season which has typically been difficult to improve upon. December is ahead from last year by 3%, January by 5% and February 21%.”
Brett Lakey of Lady Musgrave Experience said, “Our bookings over summer are looking great, especially the week between Christmas and New Year. We’re on track for a really big summer.”
Mon Repos Turtle Encounter, accommodation and tour and attraction tickets can all be booked with a trusted local at the three Visitor Information Centres in Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin in person or via 1300 722 099, or online at www.bundabergregion.org.