Horror year for Coast traders
THIS has been a horror year for businesses on the coast, Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president Greg Barnes said.
"Most of our members are involved in the tourism industry," he said.
"This has been a devastating year for the majority of them."
Mr Barnes said tourism operators on the coast started with a deficit because of the floods, and had been unable to make it up during the year.
"People are scrutinising the weather before they come here," he said.
"If we continue to get rain it could be devastating."
Mr Barnes said the damage from the floods was bad enough, but it also affected confidence in future years.
"If potential visitors see rain is forecast they're going to back off," he said.
Mr Barnes said some tourism operators said numbers in the festive season had been okay, but during the year they had been awful.
Mr Barnes said visitor turtle numbers were also down a bit, and he could only attribute that to concerns about the weather.
"The strength of the dollar also knocked us around," he said.
Mr Barnes said while the year had been tumultuous it was not as bad as it could have been, and not as bad as was expected.