Plan to lure trav­ellers with coun­try charms

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

GET­TING off the beaten track is the lat­est goal for Sin­ga­porean and Malaysian trav­ellers, mak­ing them the per­fect in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for North Bur­nett tourism in­dus­tries to fo­cus on.

So, with fam­i­lies look­ing for a week-long Aus­tralian ad­ven­ture in her mind, Bund­aberg and North Bur­nett Tourism mar­ket­ing man­ager Kather­ine Mer­gard set off on a four-day mis­sion to the two South-East Asian coun­tries last week.

“Th­ese two coun­tries are emerg­ing mar­kets for the Bund­aberg and North Bur­nett,” she said.

“Lots of peo­ple have been to the Gold Coast and the theme parks but sec­ond-time trav­ellers to Aus­tralia are look­ing for some­where more au­then­tic to travel and we want to show them our re­gion is great for that.

“I found they are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in farm-stay and guided tours around na­tional parks.

“That might be some­thing for in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tors to think about.”

BNBT gen­eral man­ager Rick Matkowski said be­cause Sin­ga­pore­ans and Malaysians could fly into Bris­bane air­port, pick up a hire car and drive them­selves, they were an ideal mar­ket for our re­gion to tar­get.

“Be­cause of our beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral set­ting, we are per­fect for con­fi­dent trav­ellers who want to go some­where dif­fer­ent to where all their friends have been,” he said.

Both Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia are hubs for in­ter­na­tional air­line flights, so their res­i­dents tend to be English-speak­ing and ad­ven­tur­ous when it comes to travel.

This sets them apart from mobs of cau­tious, coach-rid­ing tourists from China.

“Bring­ing coach tours to the North Bur­nett is still two or three years away. One of the big­gest prob­lems is we don’t have ac­com­mo­da­tion to take a coach-load of 30–40 peo­ple,” Mr Matkowski said.

The North Bur­nett would also need guides flu­ent in Man­darin to show Chi­nese tourists around.

“We do hope to one day ac­com­mo­date the Chi­nese mar­ket but the Malaysian and Sin­ga­porean is much more within our reach right now,” Mr Matkowski said.

“This (re­cent trip to South-East Asia) was just a toe in the wa­ter.

“We can now start to gauge ideas on what th­ese mar­kets are look­ing for when they come here.”

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