Tourism rates at an all-time high
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.
INFLUX: The Southern Queensland Country Tourism Conference in 2017.