Noosa to favour overseas visitors over locals as it flags overtourism concerns

It’s the latest destination trend that perhaps not everyone wants – overtourism. And now Noosa is calling it as it looks to favour cashed-up overseas visitors over locals in a controversial new tourism plan.

Tourism chiefs are saying the small Queensland town has become a victim of its own success, with the increase in visitors putting a strain on local infrastructure.

“This is a fantastic problem I have to say, and that is managing our own success,” Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington told 9news.

“We are already on the cusp – we are getting a significant number of residents pushing back against the tourism industry. We don’t want to see that conflict escalate.

“The time is right to ensure we don’t get to that stage that many places have reached where they are now trying to turn back the number of tourists.

“The population of southeast Queensland is going to continue to grow. More and more people will want to drive into Noosa for the day.”

A committee of key stakeholders is drawing up a future tourism strategy for Noosa, which could include more paid parking, limiting ticket sales to special events and giving priority to overseas visitors.

Not everyone is happy with the strategy though, with some businesses saying they can’t afford to turn anyone away.

“I think it’s ridiculous. We need those customers. We need every dollar we can get,” Grindel Rudder told 9News.