Tourists descend on Tweed ahead of border reopening
"THERE is not a hotel room to be had in Tweed" as travellers flock to the Queensland border.
Tweed Harbour Motor Inn owner Carole Goodway said her business has been booked solid after a difficult few months.
"Everybody is pretty much chocker because so many people are waiting to get across the border on Friday," she said.
"April was awful, May was marginally better, June was a little bit better and now we're waiting to see what July is going to pan out like now - nobody really knows."
Ms Goodway said the influx of visitors began "once she (Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) announced the borders were going to open on July 10".
"July 9 went absolutely crazy," she said.
Ms Goodway said guests were in good spirits, despite facing long delays at the Queensland-New South Wales border crossings.
"We've got gorgeous guests in here. I think everyone sort of has the spirit of adventure," she laughed.
Ms Goodway said she was receiving constant phone calls and walk-in inquiries.
Meanwhile, Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said Coast accommodation providers appeared to be faring somewhat better in recent days.
"We know there is significant pent-up demand for a domestic getaway and are looking forward to welcoming interstate visitors from NSW and other states back to Australia's favourite playground," she said.
"The imminent opening of Queensland's borders this week, with the exception of Victoria, is a welcome development for recovery efforts. The September school holidays will be the first opportunity for Gold Coast to fully capitalise on the easing of travel restrictions within Australia, with the possible exception of Victoria at this stage."
Ms Battista said there had been improved bookings since June, including "weekend spikes".
"The optimal booking window for family holiday-makers is usually six to eight weeks and lead time is a crucial factor to capitalise on the easing of restrictions. That said, one of the changes we have seen recently is holiday-makers prepared to book with shorter lead times, once they are confident restrictions allow them to travel," she said.
NSW and the northern drive market in particular would "be the first to return to the Gold Coast in numbers from interstate", Ms Battista said.
Accommodation providers have been "reporting a lift in inquiries and an increase in traffic for last minute bookings".
Ms Battista was hopeful "this will convert to more interstate bookings".
"We will continue to scale-up marketing activity to win the hearts, minds and dollars of domestic travellers to come back and play on the Gold Coast," she said.
Accor Pacific, which provides the bulk of accommodation on the Gold Coast, said bookings were on the up and expected to continue to rise as restrictions ease.
Accor said properties had "enhanced their cleaning protocols".
"Booking pace picked up for school holiday season on the Gold Coast," a spokeswoman said.
"Every time the government makes a positive statement on the relaxing of restrictions, we see an increase in online activity and interest."
"The search trends we are seeing suggest that hotels within a day's drive of people's homes will also be popular."
But a Surfers Paradise mixed-use tower manager operator, who requested anonymity, said they had "nothing" coming in the bookings pipeline - and usually at this time of year most bookings were from Victoria.
Originally published as Tourists descend on Tweed ahead of border reopening