SEEING THE SIGHTS: Desi McCracken, Nathan McCracken and Tyler Ive from Townsville enjoying Bargara Beach while in Bundaberg for the Confraternity Carnival.
SEEING THE SIGHTS: Desi McCracken, Nathan McCracken and Tyler Ive from Townsville enjoying Bargara Beach while in Bundaberg for the Confraternity Carnival. Mike Knott BUN030719HOL1

Tourism boost: Confra and holidays see spike in visitors

AS the winter school holidays kick into gear, families are flocking to the region to make the most of their time off.

And with Confraternity bringing in the big numbers, local businesses are feeling the boost in customers.

A Bundaberg Tourism spokeswoman said with 48 rugby league teams and 64 netball teams, their families and coaches flocking to the region, it was no surprise to see a surge in activity around town.

"Local accommodation is fully booked for the first week of school holidays, and accommodation in Childers and Gin Gin is fast filling up,” the spokeswoman said.

"Accommodation is at about 80 per cent capacity in the second week ... (a) majority of bookings in the first week are a direct result of Confraternity.”

Business director at Kellys Beach Resort, Loni Hammond, said the business had seen the end of the financial year off with a nine per cent rise in occupancy.

"It was our best year in 15 years ... and I think a lot of people are in the same boat,” Ms Hammond said.

Ms Hammond said even with the region identified as a "leisure destination”, business visitors were also on the rise.

"Not only from talking with colleagues in the accommodating industry, but cafes as well...”

As well as Confraternity and the school holidays, the Taste Bundaberg Festival is set to run again this weekend.

It will include the Chilli and Lime Fiesta at Riverfeast and the Bundy Flavours and farmers market.

The festival will have the gems in Bundy's tourism crown available for all to see.

But Ms Hammond said she had seen a large change in the local tourism scene after the success of the Lady Musgrave Experience. "We now have two islands and couple that with Bundaberg Rum and Bargara Brewery, it shows we have even more to do now and that is worth putting on the brochures,” she said.



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