By Andi-Bianca Haddow

The most profitable weekend in Noosa – the 38th Noosa Triathlon – has been cancelled following COVID-19 concerns.

It’s disappointed small business owners who were hoping to have an economic influx in the wake of the pandemic.

Noosa’s mayor and councillors voted unanimously to restrict events being held in the shire to a maximum of 500 people.

They say they are acting in the best interests of Noosa’s older and more vulnerable population.

Noosa Main Beach: An eerily quiet sight as COVID-19 still impacts local tourism. Credit: Andi-Bianca Haddow

Richard Pace, owner of Rococo Noosa, a restaurant on Hastings Street says this decision is better in the long run, but it is still unfortunate.

“I mean, I support the council’s position on it but obviously as a business operating… it’s very disappointing that we can’t get that much needed turnover.”

Noosa businesses say their livelihood is vital to the post-COVID recovery and the Council must factor this into any decisions.

Small business and restaurant owners are disheartened by the verdict.

The Olympic level triathlon brings in more than 8000 competitors, injecting millions into the Sunshine Coast economy.

In the meantime, local athletes have stepped up their training for the 2021 triathlon.

Lucas Bayse is a local athlete disheartened by the decision, but he remains optimistic.

“I’ve been preparing a lot for this but all I can do is the make the best out of it and keep training for next season.”

Despite the pandemic, restaurant owners are preparing for a busy summer filled with domestic tourism whilst athletes have their eyes on next year’s competitions.

Watch Andi-Bianca Haddow’s video news story here: