Is this the next big thing?
Pick of ideas needed for tourist boost
IF WE build a giant broccoli, will they come? A national initiative is calling on locals to submit ideas for a colossal monument in their town.
COULD Gatton soon have a colossal broccoli standing tall in its main street?
Online travel hub Wotif has launched a national initiative to boost regional tourism and drive money into a local economy.
It is called The Next Big Thing and one town in Australia will receive a new tourist attraction or ‘big thing’, much like the Big Banana or Big Pineapple.
Wotif is calling on people, businesses and councils to nominate their ideas, whether it be a person, food, animal or another object, that would best represent their town.
A short list will be announced on September 25 and the winner will be selected through a two-week public voting period ending on October 9.
The monument is planned to be built and unveiled by the end of the year.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said she would be thrilled if a town in the region was selected for a new giant monument.
“Who, as kids, didn’t get their photo taken with the Big Pineapple? Or if they were going to Coffs Harbour, everyone wants to to go the Big Banana,” she said.
“It is gimmicky – and that’s not just about local and interstate tourism, that would be people coming from overseas. I think it would be a great opportunity.
“Everyone should have a crack. I’m keen and interested to know what people pick.”
Cr Milligan believes the attraction should be something everyone in the community could identify with.
Her own personal pick is a giant heart.
“If you look at our last census stats, the male to female ratio is almost 50/50,” she said.
“I continually go around saying ‘here in our beautiful region, there is someone for everybody’.
“I think if you also look at our community and how they’re wired, we have a really great community that’s really resilient and really strong and they’ve got lots of heart.
“A big heart might sound a bit tacky but on so many levels I think it really epitomises our community.”
Research conducted by Wotif revealed 90 per cent of Australians had visited a ‘big thing’ in their lifetime and the average traveller had been to five.
It also found that 60 per cent of Aussies would stop if they saw a giant monument while on the highway and 39 per cent would travel out
of their way to check one out.
“We truly do live in an incredible region. We should all be really proud of it and we should be showing it off,” Cr Milligan said.
Visit www.wotif.com/next bigthing for more information and to enter.
ATTRACTION: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan with a superimposed giant broccoli in Gatton’s main street.
FROM LITTLE THINGS: Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan.