Mon Repos celebrates 20,000 guests
STAFF and volunteers at Mon Repos Conservation Park are celebrating reaching more than 20,000 visitors for the season on Tuesday night.
At the same time in 2009, just more than 19,000 visitors made the trek to the rookery and only 18,000 had visited by February 2008.
Visitor numbers are expected to reach about 28,000 by the end of the season — the highest number of tourists since the 2004/2005 season.
Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism general manager James Corvan, who takes bookings for the nightly turtle tours, said there was a 26% increase in visitors in November and a 15% increase in January.
“I think part of the success can be attributed to a marketing campaign about the turtles in the southern areas of the state,” he said.
Mr Corvan said November and February were traditionally slower for tourism across the state.
“It is fantastic to see such an improvement in November,” he said.
Mr Corvan said he also had meetings in Brisbane soon about promoting the turtle rookery to the domestic and international tourism markets.
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones said the large number of visitors had been continuing even after the school holidays.
“Since the end of the school holidays, Mon Repos has been averaging 100 to 180 people per evening, except for Friday and Saturday nights, which are usually the busiest with 200 to 300 people,” she said.
Ms Jones said the rain had not affected the number of turtles, but warned people to be prepared.
“People coming down for a tour in rainy weather need to bring a raincoat, as umbrellas are not allowed on the tours,” she said.
To book a turtle tour phone 4153 8888 or visit www.bookbundabergregion.com.au.