New Tourism Noosa CEO Steve McPharlin
New Tourism Noosa CEO Steve McPharlin

Green support really pays off for Noosa tourist operators

TOURISM Noosa is delighted that Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas is setting the example by sponsoring the Noosa Koala Habitat Recovery Project. They are donating $2 for every day conference delegate to local Landcare tree plantings.

This is a prime example of what local businesses can do to give back to our environment. Our visitors are demanding it and our stakeholders and residents are also demanding it.

It just makes sense to us and is a great initiative. We believe this is just a taste of what's ahead. We're forecasting there is, annually, a lot more to come because this (partnership) in itself is just so successful. The future is looking great.

Peppers is showing real leadership here and I commend them wholeheartedly. It's Tourism Noosa's job now to ensure that the rest of our industry appreciate what we have here naturally. The modern traveller is looking for an environmentally responsible destination.

We know we're a busy and popular tourist destination and we have to be doing positive initiatives to give back, and ensure our impacts on our beautiful environment are not detrimental. And speaking of visitor influxes, the reports back from most tourism operators is that it has been a bumper season ... a record season. We've been blessed with good weather.

I think everyone's forward bookings through February and March, which traditionally drops off, are solid. Operators are positive that it's equal if not better to the last couple of years, so the future is looking pretty bright. The big focus of Tourism Noosa is to ensure that all operators are putting out a product to the market that is of the highest standard. And we want to ensure that our value proposition to all visitors, both domestic and international, is high. We must stay focussed that all products are constantly improving and we're revisiting opportunities to look and feel better.

As for the Go Noosa road congestion trial just undertaken by Noosa Council over the holiday peaks, I have to commend the council on this initiative. They've really had a

big swing at that problem and they are now looking at the results. It's a huge opportunity to narrow down where the improvements are for next year. It was a really worthwhile exercise and I hope locals get on board the coming Easter and Christmas free buses and other measures to get as many cars off the road.