TOURISM operators couldn't have asked for a better end to the school holidays with record crowds packing Sunshine Coast resorts for the Australia Day long weekend.
Caloundra's Bill Darby said locals and resort owners were confident this had been there best festive period ever - and the cheer continued for the full extent of the long summer holidays.
"I think everybody was fully booked for the Australia Day long weekend," Mr Darby said.
"It was hot, but it was very busy.
"We have had such a considerable increase in occupancy from this year to last year and previous years."
Mooloolaba's Peter Foran said businesses in the hot spot had also experienced a bumper long weekend, but bookings still hadn't peaked Mooloolaba's hey day prior to the Global Financial Crisis.
"We have had our best bookings since about 2007," Mr Foran said. "Before then we used to have about 460 to 460 room nights in January, this year we had 420. We are still not at the best ever,
however it has been the best December/January for three years."
Sunshine Coast Destination CEO Simon Ambrose said the long weekend had gone "incredibly well, especially considering the weather we had on Friday".
"It looked like a washout at one stage, but then we had a great set of days.
"People flocked to the beaches and took great pride in taking part in the Australia Day festivities.
"Everywhere was well-represented and all operators said they had good economic activity."
While operators may be hoping for a bit of quiet time after the peak holidays, it's not likely to last long with a line-up of events planned up to Easter.
This kicks off next weekend with the Queensland Ocean Swim Series starting in Noosa and the Outriggers Sprint titles at Lake Kawana from January 30.
Sunshine Coast Destination has an event booked somewhere on the Coast each weekend until Easter.
Mr Ambrose said a new marketing campaign highlighting the Sunshine Coast was also expected to start soon.
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