WELCOME: School holidays boost bookings across Whitsundays
THE start of school holidays brought with it a much-welcome boost to the region over the weekend as tourists from across the state flocked to the Whitsundays.
For the first time in months, the streets were packed with tourists vying for a spot in the sun.
Whitsunday Jetski Tours Toni Ward said it was the busiest weekend since the tours reopened in May.
"It was fabulous, it's so nice to hear the phone ringing and see families and couples just getting out and enjoying the whole Airlie precinct," she said.
"We're out every day at the moment and hopefully that's going to continue on after school holidays."
Every person booked on to the jet ski tours over the weekend came from within a 400-kilometre drive with visitors from Moranbah, Mackay and Townsville.
While numbers are still at around 40 to 50 per cent in comparison to last year, Mrs Ward was hopeful the school holidays would continue to be a busy period for operators.
It was the same story at Proserpine Tourist Park where travellers arrived in droves.
Park manager Shirley Long said while they were yet to reach capacity, occupancy was up about 25 per cent from the reopening in June.
"It's been a lot better since the school holidays started," she said.
"We're getting a few more Queenslanders travelling around."
Mrs Long said Saturday night was their busiest night since June and hoped the border reopening would mean more travellers could make their way north.
Away from the water and wheels, the airport has also been a hive of activity one week after the first post-COVID flight touched down
Whitsunday Coast Airport chief operating officer aviation and tourism Craig Turner said Alliance Airlines, the newest addition to the airport's flight board, had experienced a rush to secure seats.
"We've sold 4300 seats on Alliance in 25 days," he said.
"It's amazing to see aircraft flying back.
"The businesses at the airport are really enjoying being back at work and greeting customers and giving them good service.
"You can feel the town, people are out, they're having fun and enjoying their holidays.
"This is the start of the return."