TRUF­FLE EVENTS BOOST

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

TWO hun­dred lo­cal and vis­it­ing truf­fle lovers at­tended Queens­land’s first truf­fle fes­ti­val Sun­day.

Vis­i­tors trav­elled from as far as north­ern Sydney and the Sun­shine Coast to en­joy the gourmet food and cook­ing demon­stra­tions at Tartufo at the Truf­fle Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre in The Sum­mit.

Event or­gan­iser Matthew Hib­berd said the event ran smoothly, de­spite many chal­lenges in­clud­ing guest chefs can­celling at the last minute and eight pup­pies be­ing born at the event.

“The high­light for most peo­ple I think was see­ing and hold­ing a real truf­fle, see­ing a snif­fer dog find a hid­den truf­fle,” Mr Hib­berd said.

“It’s a rare be­hind the scenes op­por­tu­nity that many Queens­lan­ders have never had the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence.

“For me per­son­ally it was the peo­ple that come and shake my hand at the end of the day and ac­knowl­edge what I'm try­ing to achieve for the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try.”

Two thirds of vis­i­tors stayed three or more nights and Mr Hib­berd be­lieved they brought around

$50,000 into the lo­cal econ­omy.

“Many (vis­i­tors at­tended) wine tours on the Satur­day and our event on the Sun­day,” Mr Hib­berd said.

“Of those three-plus nights vis­it­ing friends or rel­a­tives group said they were do­ing din­ners, eat­ing out, (vis­it­ing) at­trac­tions, Gir­raween and winer­ies.”

Mr Hib­berd has started plan­ning next year’s event where he hoped to in­volve more lo­cal op­er­a­tors.

I'm very keen to im­ple­ment changes and make next year a big­ger suc­cess and con­tinue pro­mot­ing the re­gion.

— Matthew Hib­berd

“Us­ing lo­cal cater­ers and chefs would be enor­mous in at­tract­ing peo­ple to the re­gion for a hol­i­day or buy­ing prod­ucts, sadly this didn't hap­pen in the first year. I'm very keen to im­ple­ment changes and make next year a big­ger suc­cess and con­tinue pro­mot­ing the re­gion.”

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