Di­rect flights to im­prove tourism

Childers businesses get be­hind push for routes

Isis Town and Country - - NEWS -

CHILDERS businesses say any additional routes added to Bund­aberg air­port could pro­vide a boost in vis­i­tors to the Isis re­gion.

Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil re­cently com­pleted a sur­vey to es­tab­lish where there was the big­gest de­mand for additional routes in and out of Bund­aberg.

Coun­cil eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment spokesman Greg Barnes said the sur­vey had re­sulted in an un­prece­dented re­sponse from the com­mu­nity, with the ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents want­ing routes to Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Cairns and Townsville.

“These sur­vey re­sults will en­able us to bol­ster our busi­ness case as we con­tinue to make rep­re­sen­ta­tions on be­half of the trav­el­ling com­mu­nity and vis­i­tors,” Cr Barnes said.

Snakes Dow­nun­der Rep­tile Park co-owner Ian Jenk­ins said the ma­jor­ity of vis­i­tors to his park were from out of town.

“Lo­cals only make up a small amount of our vis­i­ta­tions,” he said.

“Most of our driv­ing cus­tomers come from the south but any di­rect flights to and from Syd­ney or Mel­bourne would be great for us.”

❝ Ian Jenk­ins Di­rect flights to and from Syd­ney or Mel­bourne would be great

Hill of Prom­ise Es­tate co-owner Mary Byrne said it was im­por­tant plans and pack­ages were put in place to di­rect vis­i­tors to Childers af­ter they landed at Bund­aberg or Her­vey Bay Air­port.

“We can’t stop when the plane lands,” she said.

“We need to pro­vide them with pack­ages so all the work is done for them.

“Vis­i­tor econ­omy is vi­tal to the lo­cal econ­omy from the newsagent to the baker, as well as businesses such as our­selves.”

How­ever, po­ten­tial car­ri­ers could be put off pro­vid­ing more routes af­ter it was re­vealed Qan­tasLink was strug­gling to fill seats on its di­rect flight from Her­vey Bay to Syd­ney less than a month af­ter it be­gan.

While Qan­tas in­sists it has no in­ten­tion of pulling the pin so soon into the ven­ture, in­dus­try sources say the time will soon come for the air­line to make a de­ci­sion based on whether a di­rect ser­vice was vi­able.

Mr Jenk­ins said he would be con­cerned if di­rect flights from Her­vey Bay to Syd­ney were halted.

“Get­ting bums on seats is al­ways a prob­lem, so that is a worry,” he said.

“I’m con­vinced that with time, as it be­comes a reg­u­lar ser­vice, people will take it up.”

PHO­TOS: MIKE KNOTT BUN270614SNA1

MORE FLIGHTS NEEDED: Snakes Dow­nun­der Rep­tile Park owner Ian Jenk­ins with Zeus, an 18-month-old retic­u­lated python. Mr Jenk­ins would like to see more di­rect flights to the re­gion to boost tourism.

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