Thousands of Queensland teenagers are expected to descend on the holiday hotspot of Noosa later this month, according to Archers the Strata Professionals.
Despite the state government officially banning end-of-year celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schoolies support organisation Red Frogs expects up to 5,000 teenagers to converge on theCoast from late November, with many of them headed for the Noosa region.
Archers the Strata Professionals partner Grant Mifsud said that while traditional schoolies destinations such as the Gold Coast are expecting less activity this year, a different story is emerging on the Sunshine Coast.
“We have had reports from resort managers of a flood of bookings for the designated Queensland schoolies week between November 21 and 28.”
“One resort which normally would be at less than 40 per cent capacity at that time of year is almost booked out by mostly teenagers from Brisbane who will be celebrating the end of school,” Mr Mifsud said.
Some resorts raised their prices substantially to try to deter schoolies, but their parents were prepared to pay up to four times the normal rate for that time of year.
“Parents seem to be keen for their children to celebrate schoolies in Noosa rather than the Gold Coast, and they are undeterred by increased prices and having to pay a $1,000 bond for each room,” he said.
Resort managers are employing security guards for the week and offering Red Frogs volunteers free accommodation to assist in ensuring the safety of young people, along with the Queensland Police Service and surf lifesaving officials.
Another challenge for resort managers will be to ensure COVID-safe planning requirements are met, according to Mr Mifsud.
Apart from resorts, Airbnb short-term rentals also saw high demand from teenagers travelling to the Noosa region during schoolies week.
To ensure school leavers behave responsibly during their apartment stays and to avoid incidents, Mr Mifsud encourages building management to adopt the following ‘house rules’ for the duration of schoolies: