Agnes Water main beach.
Agnes Water main beach. Aerial Media Gladstone

EXCITING TIME: The CQ coastal town that's in for a huge year

DESPITE a challenging end to the year with bushfires in the region, Agnes Water and 1770 are in for a bumper 2019 after an encouraging 12 months of tourism growth.

Tourism leaders have expressed their confidence in Agnes Water and 1770's tourism markets, and it's an outlook backed up by operators and accommodation owners, several of whom have experienced a record year.

President of the Discovery Coast Tourism Centre Amber Rodgers said several businesses in all tourism sectors are experiencing increases.

"There's businesses who have seen increase in the 2018 calendar year overall, one of those is 1770 LARC tours," she said.

"A lot of that is from the destination having a lot of repeat visitors and new businesses that have consistently supported us.

"We have good events that always bring an influx through February and March, so we feels as though we're in a good position.

"I don't think access has stifled our growth or progress, the assets we have to offer as a destination makes people take that extra journey and they appreciate it when they get here."

GAPL CEO Darryl Branthwaite called the recent bushfire emergency in Deepwater National Park a "hiccup" but the town has shown its resilience.

 

Down at Agnes Water yesterday the main beach was overflowing with visitors from around the region.
Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
DRAWCARD: Agnes Water main beach has been popular over the Christmas and New Year break. Paul Braven GLA301215AGNES

While not directly affected by the bushfires that devastated the National Park, Agnes Water and 1770 have been fighting negative perceptions regarding its current state.

However Mr Branthwaite said those towns were still as lush and beautiful as ever.

The organisation is now continuing to focus on capturing the drive market through signage programs and other strategies and connections with overseas and domestic travellers continue.

"The focus is on the experiences, and Agnes Water and 1770 is really blessed , especially with day trips to Lady Musgrave Island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"We've got really good connections with the international market side of things, we're working on the North American market as well and making inroads there.

"We're about to embark on another campaign in the south east corner and out west in getting people to access that drive market, so we firmly believe the capacity will expand and they'll have an amazing year."