'Record' summer season for Rainbow Beach businesses
SUMMER has been a hot period for Rainbow Beach tourism, with cafes serving up to 500 meals every day over the Christmas break in what business leaders have called another record year.
"Talking to other business people, it was as good a Christmas as has ever been here,” Rainbow Beach businessman Michael Read said.
Owner of the Plantation Resort and Coffee Rocks at Rainbow cafe, Mr Read said the town was becoming popular with people who wanted to avoid the massive crowds of the Sunshine and Gold coasts.
"We're seeing numbers increase in the accommodation side as well; I think we were up 7% for the whole year and 12% for December.
"Every month this year occupancy has been higher than last year.”
While overseas tourists had taken a shine to the area, Mr Read said the majority of holidaymakers over the break came from closer to home.
"We do get a lot of overseas guests through here throughout the year, but Christmas time 95% of people were Australian holiday makers.”
Sunning and surfing on the beach were not the only popular pastimes over the break, though.
New owner of Baitrunner charter boat Mat Cooper said the summer season had been a huge boost for the region, in spite of the sometimes uncooperative weather.
"We had strong north-easterly winds come in for weeks around Boxing Day on,” he said.
"I myself had about 10 days straight booked for charters and only ended up getting about four of them in due to bad weather. That made it a little bit harder.”
Otherwise, Mr Cooper said the break had been great for fishing and boating in the region.
"Christmas was very busy.”
With so many people around, Mr Read said he was glad he had opened the Coffee Rocks cafe, which had overflowed on most days of the break and served 500 meals a day.
"We had a full house each day for two to three weeks over the Christmas period,” Coffee Rocks staff member Hellen Jones said.