Boutique shopping is one of the tourist attractions of Noosa’s Hastings St.
Boutique shopping is one of the tourist attractions of Noosa’s Hastings St.

REVEALED: Why it pays for Noosa to welcome tourists

TOURISM "value added" half a billion dollars to the Noosa economy in 2016-17 according to a report presented to council this week.

The Value of Tourism to the Noosa Community report prepared for council and Tourism Noosa shows 3677 jobs in the shire are due to tourism with another 2108 relying indirectly on Noosa's number one industry.

The report prepared by Change Sustainable Solutions said: "Tourism is Noosa's most valuable industry sector.

"The surveyed community perceive substantial benefits from tourism.

"Respondents also indicated negative impacts in a limited number of areas, but the personal impacts of those surveyed were considered relatively low," the report said.

Another key finding was: "There are significant flow-on or indirect benefits through industry linkages and consumption impacts ($251 million in value-added to the economy)"

A survey of Noosa business found 75 per cent of businesses would be less profitable without tourists and 42 per cent of these "indicated that they would cease operations without the tourist trade".

"Many businesses surveyed perceived that the existence of tourism allowed for further investment by public and private sectors.

"Some businesses surveyed believed the benefits of tourism were not shared equally between business locations," the report said.

Businesses directly impacted by tourism events said their turnover could increase by around 25 per cent over that period, while "only a small proportion of businesses surveyed indicated negative impacts due to events".

The survey overall found "tourism and events contribute to the social and cultural environment of Noosa in a significantly positive way".

And this study indicates that tourism was not having a major off-putting impact on local residents.

"Nearly 70 per cent of residents surveyed in Noosa indicated that they could not think of anywhere else they wanted to live," the report said.

"This was almost 20 per cent higher than residents surveyed across the Sunshine Coast generally, and double the proportion surveyed across Queensland.

"Many who were surveyed in the Noosa community recognised that because of tourism there is an increased number of attractions, entertainment, events and facilities that benefit locals and visitors alike.

"Some of these people, however, thought that there was also room for improvement in Noosa's night time entertainment opportunities and 'value for money' of tourism products generally."

The survey found 63 per cent of residents indicated that tourism had a positive impact on Noosa, compared with 52 per cent across the Sunshine Coast generally, and only 41 per cent of Queenslanders.

"People surveyed within Noosa generally agreed that as well as assisting the economy, tourism enhances Noosa's reputation regionally, nationally and internationally."

"Approximately a third of respondents from the residential survey indicated that tourism in Noosa enabled the connection of people that otherwise would not interact.

However more than 84 per cent surveyed "agreed that tourism can disrupt the lives of locals, particularly in relation to traffic, congestion and parking and restricting local's access to public facilities".

"The largest negative impacts on the community from tourism highlighted by this study were associated with congestion/carparking and housing affordability.

"Overall, 23 per cent of people surveyed would like to see tourism growth in Noosa in more environmentally responsive directions.

"For those people aged under 30 years of age, 44 per cent held this view. By comparison, only 5 per cent of Sunshine Coast residents and 7 per cent of Queensland residents felt this way about tourism.

The report said other less mentioned negative impacts identified included some level of inappropriate behaviour and increased litter and noise associated with tourism activity.

"The perceived impacts of these on the individual were quite low, but are still worth monitoring over time," the report said.