Wotif you could go anywhere these school holidays?
  • Tuesday 27 September 2016

Mooloolaba and Maroochydore are among the most popular picks for Australian families when it comes to choosing where they’d like to go for September school holidays.

Leading hotel reservation website Wotif.com has released the top regional destinations Aussie families are exploring these school holidays and Mooloolaba-Maroochydore ranks at number three.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O’Pray said it was more terrific recognition of the Sunshine Coast’s appeal on a national scale.

“Over the past 12 months we’ve seen Mooloolaba Beach ranked number six in Australia’s best beaches on TripAdvisor and Sandcastles Mooloolaba Resort and Oceans Mooloolaba also named in TripAdvisor’s top 25 Australian hotels for 2016,” Cr O’Pray said.

“Caloundra’s Kings Beach was also rated the best in Queensland by Surf Life Saving Queensland.

“As well as having magnificent natural attractions and wonderful weather, the Sunshine Coast prides itself on being a safe place for families with fantastic lifestyle opportunities and parents right around Australia are clearly recognising that when choosing where to take their kids during the September school holidays.

“Council and Visit Sunshine Coast have worked very hard to lift the profile of Mooloolaba and other signature tourist hot spots in our region.

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve also received outstanding reviews from numerous cruise ship stopovers that have delivered thousands of guests from all corners of Australia and other countries to the Sunshine Coast to sample our beautiful beaches, terrific tourist attractions and friendly hospitality.

“While our coastal destinations are especially popular at this time of the year, our Hinterland communities are also doing a terrific job in showcasing their appeal to passengers who travel up there during cruise ship stopovers and in 2015 accommodation houses in Montville were ranked number one on the Australian Hotel Reputation Rankings released by Trivago - the world’s largest online hotel search site.

“All of these positive reviews and rankings are just the tip of the iceberg when you also consider the word of mouth reviews from guests to our region and also the social media networks that send these glowing comments and photos to countless numbers of other people right around the world. 

“Hosting an unprecedented 60 major and regional events in 2016 is also bringing around 150,000 national and international guests from more than 70 countries to our region and generating an additional $100 million in economic activity.

“Many will return to the Sunshine Coast and through word of mouth, their family and friends will want to come here as well.”

Mooloolaba Jet Boat owner Jerry Van Driel-Vis said the positive publicity was a bonus for all local businesses.

“To see Mooloolaba and Maroochydore rating so highly is a great pat on the back for local businesses like ours and many others here and right around the coast and hinterland,” he said.

“The more people that come here for our nationally renowned beaches or hotels, the more people we have wanting to book with us and the more people are spending money in restaurants and cafes and venturing right around the Sunshine Coast to sample all of our great attractions.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said the latest positive recognition by Wotif.com would pay dividends for the region now and into the future. 

“Wotif did the same survey last year and Mooloolaba-Maroochydore was ranked seventh so it’s great to see we’re improving,” Mr Latchford said.

"When you consider all the wonderful destination options for families around Australia,  for the Sunshine Coast to rank so highly among holiday makers is a great reflection of the quality experience we offer to our guests.

"The success of Mooloolaba is particularly encouraging because over the past year and a half it has become a major port for visiting cruise vessels, and the feedback we've had from the stopovers has been excellent.

“As a result, we have another 13 cruise ships scheduled between now and the end of next year and we already have a number scheduled for 2018.

“Our success as a cruise ship port has also been recognised and rewarded by the Australian Cruise Association who will hold their annual conference and AGM on the Sunshine Coast in September 2017.  

"Our tourism operators in Mooloolaba, Noosa and throughout the Sunshine Coast deserve congratulations for their dedication to customer service.

“While we are fortunate to have outstanding natural attractions, in the end it is the personal experiences that register most of all with visitors and clearly we've made a very positive impression."

Wotif.com top regional school holiday destinations

1.    Surfers Paradise, QLD

2.    Cairns, QLD

3.    Maroochydore-Mooloolaba, QLD

4.    Noosa, QLD

5.    Port Macquarie, NSW

6.    Broadbeach, QLD

7.    Newcastle, NSW

8.    Port Douglas, QLD

9.    Launceston, TAS

10.  Coffs Harbour, NSW

Further information on the research findings for school holidays can be found on www.wotif.com.