Bookings at a premium for easter
EASTER is like a second Christmas for accommodation providers on the Tweed, with most enjoying full houses over the long weekend and school holiday period.
Families have booked out all styles of accommodation from rooms and suites at the top-end resorts to powered camping sites at the Tweed's many holiday parks, with the majority of visitors expected to start arriving tomorrow.
“We are always full at Easter, but what I have noticed is a trend for families to book in the shoulder periods just before or after the Easter long weekend,” said Ian Beadle, owner of the Big 4 North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point.
“We used to have huge waiting lists for Easter and for the Christmas peak, but now the list is less because people have realised they can save money by not travelling in the peak periods, but make use of the same facilities.
“It's good for us because it means our occupancy rates are higher throughout the year. For example, last month was the biggest March we have had since the park started 29 years ago. We have been so busy that we had to put another receptionist on.”
The Neptune's Kids Club, with its indoor play area and qualified childcare staff is a lure for families, especially those who travel short distances across the border.
The Hobbs family from Palm Beach on the Gold Coast visit the holiday park for a week-long break at least four times a year.
“We come here because there is so much for the kids to do and the kids club means we can have some time to ourselves knowing they are well cared for and are having fun,” said Kirsty Hobbs, the mother of three-year-old Curtis, and Chloe, 6.
Keeping the kids entertained has led Mantra on Salt Beach and Peppers at Salt resorts to create makeshift kids' clubs onsite.
“We are 100 per cent full on Saturday and Sunday of the Easter weekend and between 70 to 80 per cent on Friday and Sunday at all three resorts,” said marketing manager for Mantra and Peppers, Scott O'Neill.
Wet weather may be the only damper on the busy weekend, affecting the number of last-minute bookings.