Plan to lure travellers with country charms
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.”