SHOPPING SPREE: The Lions Club Airlie Beach will hold five markets in six days, due to a busy cruise ship schedule.
SHOPPING SPREE: The Lions Club Airlie Beach will hold five markets in six days, due to a busy cruise ship schedule. Peter Carruthers

Five markets in six days

CRUISE ship frenzy is about to dawn on the town of Airlie Beach, which will welcome four ships in less than a week.

The first ship to arrive will be Pacific Dawn which will dock on Thursday the 19th and kick-off the festivities.

Friday 20th will see the Voyage of the Sea come ashore en route to Singapore.

The town will go one day without a cruise ship docking on Saturday 21st before the Pacific Dawn brings another load of tourists ashore on Sunday 22nd.

Finally the Sea Princess will visit on Tuesday 24th.

Coinciding with the increase in tourists, the Airlie Beach Lions Club is gearing up to host five markets in just six days.

Lions volunteer Helen Toy is delighted with the stimulation to the economy the busy schedule will bring.

"Stall holders travel up for the week especially for the cruise ship markets, it's not just the tourists spending money,” she said.

Ms Toy expects good numbers throughout the week due to the promising weather forecast.

"We're pleased to see some lovely weather for next weekend.”

Ms Toy reminded patrons the Airlie Beach market "is a single use plastic bag free zone.”

"We're so close to the water and plastic can be so disastrous to marine life.”

"Re-usable or paper bags are the way to go,” she said.

The Airlie Beach markets are ahead of the game in regards to plastic bag use as the operation has been a single use plastic bag free zone for over a year now.

The state government only last week announced legislation to ban the use of single use plastic bags statewide as of July 1, 2018.

With 1.63 million Australians expected to holiday aboard a cruise ship before July, Airlie can expect more cruise ship markets.

It's estimated the popularity of cruises will grow by 14-18% in the next 12 months.

Market Frenzy

WHAT: Airlie Beach Markets.

WHEN: Thursday, April 19 - Tuesday, April 24, 7am-noon.

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore.

COST: Free.