Maleny is rising in popularity among travellers, with bookings to the destination having grown by 66.1 percent in the last two years, through the world’s largest platform for hotel bookings by volume.
Identified as a travel hot spot based through an analysis of bookings on hotel price comparison platform HotelsCombined.com.au, they describe a hot spot as being any travel destination that has seen at least 20-30 percent growth between January-June 2016 and again in January-June 2017 (to account for high and low season).
As a result, Maleny is outpacing the growth seen in the more coastal parts of the Sunshine Coast: Alexandra Headland had 26 percent growth across the period, Caloundra had 17.2 percent growth, while Mooloolaba experienced growth of 6 percent.
The growth further north of the popular Sunshine Coast district was no match for Maleny either, with Coolum Beach experiencing 27.5 percent growth and Noosa Heads seeing 13.4 percent growth.
Maleny Terrace Cottages Manager, Alison Neale, said that it was great news, “Bookings have been steadily growing since our refurbishment and reopening in March.
“Our weekends are really busy, and it depends on what events are in town.”
As well as the wedding market, they offer accommodation and dinner packages with Terrace Seafood Restaurant to build their mid-week bookings.
“We have three restaurants in walking distance – there’s also the Thai restaurant, andThe Orangery opens for breakfast and lunch as well.”
They make the most of our location and send people to Mary Cairncross Reserve for a walk. “It’s such a beautiful spot – they can overlook the glasshouse mountains, and Gardners Falls is just down the road.”
Mark Skinner from Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat also makes the most of our beautiful destination, ” The Hinterland has a huge appeal to international tourists because they are looking for nature-based experiences, having the rainforest here and wildlife and beautiful scenery is a drawcard.”
Mark says business is continually increasing for them in Montville as well, “A broader catchment of customers are coming to us. It is the European, interstate and not just the Brisbane drive market, which traditionally has been the market for the area.
“You can go to any travel agent in the UK, Switzerland and France and you’ll see that Montville will be represented.
“The way people book travel is changing, more and more people are booking online as opposed to travel agents – the fact we’re brochured in those travel agents is also raising awareness so people will find us.”
He says that Visit Sunshine Coast have greatly assisted in raising the awareness of the area as well, through direct marketing and industry development.
“They are providing an International Ready workshop on February 15 and the Understanding Asia workshop on April 24 in Montville. We’d like to get as many operators to it as possible and amplify that message further.”
Data from Tourism and Events Queensland shows that in the year ending June 2017, overnight domestic visitors to the Sunshine Coast region grew by 4.9 percent.
Intrastate visitors account for 74 percent of total domestic tourist numbers (mainly from Brisbane), while interstate visitors grew by 13.9 percent.