Revellers book out hotels
Partygoers do sensible thing for New Year’s Eve
ACCOMMODATION is scarce in the twin cities this New Year’s Eve, with many hoteliers reporting capacity bookings for the night of celebrations.
Magnetic Island’s newest $90 million resort Mantra One Bright Point opened its doors just in time to welcome the influx of revellers for the New Year.
Meridien chief executive Warwick Bible said he was happy with the level of interest in the resort despite having been open for mere days.
‘‘We are thrilled with the strength of early bookings and encouraged to learn that the majority of these bookings are from Townsville residents, many of whom are discovering the island paradise that’s right on their doorstep,’’ he said.
Older family favourites are not being forgotten, with Aquarius on The Strand fully booked for New Year’s Eve, having received inquiries all year round.
‘‘We have had a large number of bookings from overseas, tourists from England and Germany, as well as a lot of locals,’’ spokeswoman Kerry Day said. ‘‘ A lot of people go straight for the balcony rooms, so people can watch the fireworks on The Strand,’’ she said.
Also refreshing was the number of locals doing the sensible thing and staying close to celebrations instead of driving home.
‘‘We have a minimum two-night stay, so many of the partygoers will be checking out on the second of January, giving them plenty of time to recover from celebrations before heading home,’’ Ms Day said.
Magnetic Island International Resort general manager Bill McGrath agreed, saying the big New Year’s Eve party at X-Base and fireworks on the beach at Horseshoe Bay attracted some of the revellers staying at the resort.
‘‘We do have full police facilities over here, people can get breathalysed and can get caught out, so the smart thing to do is stay nearby and use public transport,’’ Mr McGrath said.
Mr McGrath said so far the resort had received a relatively even number of domestic tourists and local bookings, with approximately 10 per cent international visitors.
‘‘We’re not totally booked out for New Year’s Eve yet, but we usually get a late influx of people around Christmas who make or change their holiday plans,’’ he said.
Golden Chain group director David Kellie said last-minute News Year’s Eve bookings were typical for the region, particularly for smaller, less conspicuous hotels.
Mr Kellie said the Golden Chain Group, responsible locally for the Summit and Ridgemont Executive hotels in the city, the Beach House on The Strand and the Billabong Motel in Rosslea catered for a diverse range of clientele, and had bookings available for most of its properties.
Holiday Inn general manager Dean Palmer said there were plenty of rooms available at the inn for New Year’s Eve, with approximately 50 per cent of rooms already booked.
POPULAR HAUNT . . . Summit Motel proprietor David bookings are looking good for New Year’s Eve