Canungra’s cafes and retail stores are benefitting from an influx of tourists, however Canungra Chamber of Commerce President Monique Morcus says it will be a long road to economic recovery for the township.
“Local businesses have been under pressure since the September 2019 bushfires,” said Monique.
“While it is great to see the town busy, it is going to take a long term sustainable increase before businesses recover from almost nine months of difficult trading conditions,” she said.
American couple Victor and Anna Danau visited Mountview Alpaca Farm on Friday 29th May with their baby Dexter.
The family had been staying at Surfers Paradise for work and had to stay after international borders closed.
“We have been in Australia since March,” said Anna.
“Originally we had hoped to get home before the borders closed but we got stuck. We are making the most of it now and enjoy seeing areas close to the Gold Coast.”
Victor said as long as their visas are approved they are not worried about extending their stay in Australia.
“With international travel difficult at the moment, we don’t anticipate having problems with the visas,” he said, “We will go home as soon as we can but we don’t really have control over what is happening at the moment.”
Mitchell Sales and Anna Canton travelled to Canungra from the Gold Coast for the day and said they were happy to be able to explore places close to home.
Rosaline Vuthapanich and Vivian Yang enjoyed their day at Mountview Alpaca Farm and said they had wanted to come out a few weeks ago but the Farm was closed.
Jen Pack of Mountview Alpaca Farm said they closed for several weeks but had reopened with increased hygiene practices in place and an emphasis on social distancing.
“The property is quite large so there isn’t really a problem with people being able to maintain social distance,” said Jen.
“We have seen a gradual increase in visitors since we reopened.”
Cr Virginia West said Scenic Rim Regional Council has supported the Visit Canungra tourism campaign by providing funding for radio advertising and brochure distribution to bring visitors back to the Scenic Rim.
“It hurts us all to have witnessed the decline in visitor numbers since September last year firstly as a result of the devastating bushfires, and now more recently from the COVID-19 restrictions,” said Virginia.
“We know this has had a huge impact on our local businesses. With restrictions starting to ease again, we hope this campaign will help bring visitors back to enjoy the character and beauty of Canungra and its surrounds.”