The South Burnett’s share of mind with its neighbours has fallen over the past decade, with fewer tourists coming from nearby regions in 2018 than was the case in 2008 (Photo: SQCT)

April 18, 2018

A new Council study has found the number of visitors from regions surrounding the South Burnett has fallen over the past decade.

Fewer tourists now come to the South Burnett from nearby regions than was the case a decade ago.

The results were released at Wednesday’s monthly Council meeting by South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell.

The Mayor said the study looked at data collected by the South Burnett’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) network between 2008 and 2017.

It found that 567,000 visitors had passed through VICs in Blackbutt, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon during that time, an average of almost 57,000 tourists per annum.

As it is generally believed only 10 per cent of all tourists visit a VIC, the figures appear to indicate the South Burnett now plays host to around 570,000 tourists each year.

This closely matches visitation numbers by Tourism Research Australia, which claimed last July the South Burnett hosted 581,000 visitors in 2017-18, and estimated they injected almost $90 million into the region’s economy.

While the study appeared to show the South Burnett had lost “share of mind” with neighbouring regions in the past 10 years, one bright spot was that the number of interstate visitors had increased.

The Mayor said a parallel study of the Council’s budgets over the five years from 2013 to 2017 also indicated the cost of acquiring each visitor had risen by 25 per cent, or an average of 5 per cent per year.

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Familiarisation tours (“famils”) for VIC volunteers are likely to become a thing of the past, Tourism portfolio chair Cr Danita Potter told Wednesday’s council meeting.

The semi-regular tours took volunteers to visit the region’s tourist attractions and experience them first hand.

Cr Potter said the new quarterly “South Burnett Unpacked” forums would replace famils, offering volunteers the chance to listen to presentations from tourism operators and network with other VICs.

The third of these forums will be held on Thursday (April 19) at Kingaroy Town Hall between 10:00am and 3:00pm.

VIC volunteers, tourism operators and interested members of the general public will be able to hear presentations from The Peanut Van, Kingaroy Observatory, Blackbutt Avocado Festival, Push Pull Marketing, the BVRT Ambassadors, the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum and Jacaranda Tearooms.

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The April-May edition of the RACQ’s “Road Ahead” will carry a feature on sightseeing in the South Burnett, Cr Potter said.

Council officers have also made approaches to Brisbane Kids and Holidays With Kids to conduct a media familiarisation about the South Burnett Rail Trail.

An RACQ food writer has also expressed an interest in a mid-year visit to the region, and Council staff are working on developing a food trail for future media famils.

Volunteers will be operating a South Burnett tourism stand at the South Queensland Caravan, Camping, Fishing and 4×4 Expo at Nambour on April 20-22.

The Council will also have a presence at Regional Flavours at South Bank in Brisbane in July, and has invited the Blackbutt Avocado Festival, the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival and Kingaroy Baconfest to take part.

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

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