Tourism rates at an all-time high

South Burnett Times - - NEWS - Elae­lah Har­ley Elae­lah.Har­[email protected]­bur­nett­times.com.au

SOUTH­ERN Queens­lan­ders are feel­ing very proud as tourism vis­i­tors hit an all-time high.

Tourism Re­search Aus­tralia’s Na­tional Vis­i­tor Sur­vey has found a ma­jor in­crease in vis­i­ta­tion to South­ern Queens­land coun­try ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to South­ern Queens­land Coun­try Tourism ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mary-Clare Power, the data also re­vealed an in­crease of stay­ing overnight in re­gional ar­eas.

“These fig­ures show that more peo­ple are com­ing and that they are stay­ing longer to ex­pe­ri­ence more of what we have to of­fer,” Ms Power said.

“This is a great out­come, par­tic­u­larly as our re­gion con­tin­ues to bat­tle against con­tin­ued drought con­di­tions.”

Many South Bur­nett lo­cals fundraised for drought re­lief through­out last year.

Lo­cal tourism events such as Ba­con­fest helped raise $16,000 for the worth­while cause.

When do­nat­ing the cheque, Ba­con­fest’s chief Ba­coneer Kathryn Stevens ac­knowl­edged the im­pres­sive to­tal was pos­si­ble be­cause of an in­flux in tourism, with ap­prox­i­mately 8000 peo­ple at­tend­ing the Kin­garoy event.

Ms Power said as well as night stays, day trip­ping tourist num­bers also in­creased.

“The amount day trip­pers spent in the re­gion was up 20 per cent year on year, which is a great boost to our lo­cal econ­omy and helps op­er­a­tors con­tinue to pro­vide some of Queens­land’s best ex­pe­ri­ences,” she said.

Ms Power also men­tioned how winer­ies were one of the main at­trac­tions draw­ing tourists to South­ern Queens­land re­gional ar­eas.

Mof­fat­dale Ridge Win­ery owner Ja­son Kin­sella agreed that winer­ies were im­por­tant to lo­cal tourism.

“With­out well-func­tion­ing winer­ies, it would be a big loss for tourism and the lo­cal econ­omy,” Mr Kin­sella said.

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

IN­FLUX: The South­ern Queens­land Coun­try Tourism Con­fer­ence in 2017.

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