March 16, 2018
The South Burnett Regional Council announced on Friday it will spend $50,000 on tourism-related destination marketing activities before June 30.
The money will come from the $60,000-a-year the Council saved when it decided not to renew its Southern Queensland Country regional tourism board membership last August.
The following day, the Council adopted Senior Economic Development Officer Craig Tunley’s three-year economic development plan which called for a tripling of tourism revenues from $84 million to $252 million a year by August 2020.
While subsequent negotiations with newly formed Visit South Burnett local tourism organisation (LTO) about how to spend the money fell apart a few months later, the LTO’s insistence it be spent on destination marketing appears to have been accepted.
Initial marketing concepts were discussed at “South Burnett Unpacked 1”, a day-long tourism forum held at Bjelke-Petersen Dam last November.
Ideas that came out of this event included running a “best burger” competition; developing a tourism centre for peanuts; slashing accommodation charges at the region’s two dams by 50 per cent during the low season; developing a water park similar to one at Bli Bli; running a paddock-to-plate festival; asking the South Burnett PCYC to run more activities; and encouraging PCA to offer factory tours.
These ideas were revisited at the recent “South Burnett Unpacked 2” held at the Bunya Mountains in February, and notes from the discussions were presented to Councillors by Mr Tunley this week.
Mr Tunley said the $60,000 was given to the regional tourism board each year for the purpose of destination marketing under the Southern Queensland Country brand.
He said it was important the quarantined funds be spent for the same purpose.
Mr Tunley reported the Council had undertaken a pilot activity with Brisbane public relations agency Sequel PR during December and January.
He said this had yielded “positive results”, including statewide media coverage.
“Sequel PR have connections to key influencers in Queensland and interstate, and their team have practical journalism experience,” Mr Tunley said.
He recommended a three-month contract be negotiated with the company.
Mr Tunley also recommended the Council participate in the South Queensland Caravan, Camping, Boating and Fishing Expo that will be held in Nambour on April 20-21; and that a reusable tourism insert be developed for regional newspapers.
“With these funds being targeted towards destination marketing for the South Burnett, and with Discover South Burnett as the focus, I am confident we will see a more positive outcome for tourism and economic growth in our region,” Mayor Keith Campbell said.
The Council plans to deliver the destination marketing activities before the end of the financial year.