November 28, 2018
The number of inquiries at South Burnett visitor information centres dropped by more than 5 per cent during the latest quarter.
Last year, volunteers at the Blackbutt, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wondai and Murgon centres hosted 20,903 visitors between July and September.
But this year the number declined to 19,796 during the same period.
Kingaroy and Nanango both enjoyed growth in July.
Inquiries at Kingaroy’s VIC were up by 8 per cent and Nanango up by 10 per cent, compared with 2017.
Wondai and Murgon held their own, recording roughly the same number of visitors this July as they did last year.
However, numbers dropped across the region in August and September.
In terms of sales, Kingaroy ($19,478) and Wondai ($10,079) were the two most successful centres during the quarter, with the remaining three generating $6613 combined.
To generate those sales, volunteers donated 13,444 hours over the three months – the equivalent of 25 full-time jobs.
The data is contained in the South Burnett Regional Council’s quarterly Economic Development Report which was tabled at November’s monthly Council meeting.
It was prepared by the Council’s Economic Development Office, which oversees the Visitor Information Centres.
The quarter is traditionally a peak tourism period.
In August, Council admitted visitor numbers at the centres had been in decline for more than a decade.
This is partly due to changes in the way tourists sourced information and booked accommodation through the internet.
Council foreshadowed it will be carrying out a study to look at the future of the centres, and trying to find ways to keep them relevant.