Operators hit with double whammy

AS the Aussie dollars surges, tourism operators on The Discovery Coast are getting hit with another double-whammy.

The weather has been abysmal, keeping many domestic travellers from heading to the beaches of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, and now the international tourists too are drying up.

In 2008-2009 it was cyclones and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), while in 2010 it’s more bad weather and the strength of the Australian economy that is keeping tourists away.

Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce Inc. member Lisa Brown, a tourist operator in Agnes Water, said 2010 had probably been one of the worst on record for many of the businesses on The Discovery Coast.

“Everyone in Agnes has been doing it tough – it’s been one of the toughest years for business operators and this last holiday period was one of the quietest,” Ms Brown said.

“Having the rain during the holidays really kept people away and it looks like another wet weekend coming up.

“We’re relying heavily, very heavily on good visitor numbers this summer.

“Everyone is just hanging in there hoping for a bumper Christmas time.”

The flow-on from the GFC hit tourism hard in Queensland, but things began turning around again this year as the economy strengthened.

Ms Brown said most operators were optimistic things would get better, and with the caravan park re-opening in Agnes, the feedback was positive.

“While the strong dollar may discourage some, there are still plenty of backpackers coming and many operators and accommodation providers are offering some really great specials,” she said.

“At the moment we are just working for the banks, but people here are optimists and we are really looking forward to a big Christmas school holidays.”

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