Happy backpackers good for business
ROLL out the red carpet for backpackers.
That’s the message from Bundaberg and North Burnett Tourism general manager Rick Matkowski, who said they not only bolstered our economy in the short term but could drive tourism to the area for years to come.
“The whole community needs to recognise the value of our backpackers,” Mr Matkowski said.
“They are our advocates and we need to do everything we can to welcome them.
“Not only do they do the jobs we don’t want ourselves, but if they form connections with the community they will probably be back to visit one day and they might tell other people they know to visit as well.
“We have nearly 50,000 backpackers in the Bundaberg and North Burnett regions each year.
“That’s a lot of potential tourism.
“Local pubs should put on welcome evenings, and other parts of the community should do things to make sure they enjoy their stay.”
Canadian backpacker Laura Davis has worked at Monto’s Albert Hotel for three months and has enjoyed it so much she plans on staying for another two.
“I’m going to be their (the pub’s) longest-staying backpacker,” Laura said.
“I’ve found the whole community incredibly welcoming.
“What has made the experience so good for me is having a great boss and getting to know locals who want to show me the area.
“It’s important for me to make a deep connection with people and really get to know them.
“I’ve found that’s really easy to do in Monto, so I’ll be back to visit one day.”
WARM WELCOME: Sweden’s Emelie Linden said the Mulgildie Pub was exactly what she had hoped for in the country, after watching movies like Crocodile Dundee.