Christimas comes early for tourism operators

Thousands of grey nomads have begun rolling into Mareeba in the lead up to one of the biggest motorhome and lifestyle events to take place in Queensland – Christmas in July.

The festive celebrations kick off this Thursday, July 23 and will run through until Sunday, July 26.

The event, which is hosted by the Far North Nomads Chapter of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia and supported by Mareeba Shire Council, is in its 18th year and offers visitors a variety of fun and interesting events.

Tropical Tablelands Tourism chair Michael Trout said Christmas in July had grown in notoriety across Australia and many tourism businesses looked forward to the influx of motorhomes over the month.

“Christmas in July is the economic boost a lot of businesses and tourism attractions rely on every year and many of our members are reporting a strong start to the tourism season.

“There is no doubt that Christmas in July, which comes not long after the school holidays, show and rodeo events is one of the contributing factors to this as nomads tend to stay in the region for many weeks, visiting key attractions and landmarks,” Mr Trout added.

It is expected more than 250 motorhomes will set up camp in Davies Park for the four-day event, which will feature entertainment, raffles, and special events as well as live entertainment from local bands, Now or Never and Kick Start.

On Saturday, there will be a Christmas in July dinner, catered by the Mareeba Leagues Club, followed by an open day on Sunday from 9am to 3pm, where many of the motorhome owners literally open the doors of their vehicles to share what the nomadic life is all about.

There will also be displays, markets, family entertainment and more. Entry is by gold coin donation, which will be divided between the Mareeba SES and the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal.

Judy Cooper, manager at the Historic Village Herberton, said it had been the busiest start to peak season it had seen in many years. “We have opened a number of new exhibits in the last couple of months and visitors are responding really well to this.”

In Mareeba, Skybury Tropical Plantation director Ian MacLaughlin said trade had been gradually building in the lead up to Christmas in July, particularly with the public holiday last Friday.

“The tourism season is well underway, and at Skybury we always enjoy celebrating this annual event with special offers for the general public and this year is no different. We are even having to roast more coffee to meet demand,” he said.

For more information on Christmas in July, visit Mareeba Shire Council’s website

Posted by Bronwyn under Tablelands News | Posted on 23rd Jul 2015

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