Public holiday decision yields positive tourism numbers

Keeping the Redlands Coast Ekka Public Holiday on Monday 10 August has yielded a major tourism boost for Redlands Coast according to local businesses.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said providing two consecutive long weekends for tourists to visit the Redlands Coast was a major reason for Council’s decision to keep the public holiday on the same day it has been for years.

“We know our local businesses are suffering due to COVID and so we decided to maintain the long held tradition of our public holiday on the Monday to give locals a long weekend last week and Brisbane and Logan residents a long weekend to explore Redlands Coast this weekend,” Cr Williams said.

“It seems the plan has worked with the Straddie Chamber of Commerce reporting a 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers for the Redlands Coast long weekend, compared with the previous weekend.”

Straddie bound vehicles waiting at Toondah Harbour for a weekend getaway

Straddie Chamber of Commerce President Col Battersby said the additional visitors were a welcome boost for the island.

“With the end of sand mining last year and now COVID, it’s really important to maintain tourist numbers to the island and Council’s decision to spread the public holiday over two consecutive weekends has helped do that,” Mr Battersby said.

“Plenty of locals already had their trips booked for the Redlands Coast Public Holiday on Monday, so retaining it as the local Ekka holiday meant they could keep their existing holiday plans, which saw local families hit the island to either stay overnight or for a day trip to see the whales.

“This has been further boosted with Brisbane moving its public holiday to today, which means we are seeing plenty of Brisbane families visiting this weekend. It has been a very good week for both overnight and day tourists on the island with two long weekends at each end.”

Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca Young said any type of activation to draw visitors to the Redlands Coast should be seen as a positive, including today’s annual Crazy Day Markets in Cleveland.

Ray & Ros Madden at the busy Cleveland Crazy Day Markets

“In speaking to some of our Cleveland based businesses this morning, they expect to be busy today with our annual Crazy Day Markets and know of people coming into the area from the likes of Wynnum to shop with them,” Ms Young said.

“Giving the opportunity for visitors to the Redlands Coast will showcase what we have to offer tourists, creating the narrative that the Redlands is a destination location, and the tourists will continue to come back and bring others with them!”

This supports Council’s ‘Reconnect on Redlands Coast’ tourism campaign currently in market right across South-east Queensland.