Goomeri Pumpkin Festival
Gympie Regional Council’s new tourism strategy aims to encourage visitors to stay longer at the annual Goomeri Pumpkin Festival

July 25, 2019

Gympie Regional Council is calling for public comments on its 2019-2024 tourism strategy.

The new strategy identifies seven “catalyst” projects for the region to stimulate tourism growth and spending.

These include developing a multi-purpose indoor sports facility and an all-inclusive business and conference hotel in Gympie city; revitalising heritage assets; upgrading existing tourism experiences and developing new ones; and building wedding market capacity.

The council estimates tourism now contributes more than $147 million a year in overnight visitor expenditure to the Gympie region’s economy, or 11 per cent of gross regional product.

The council also estimates 90 per cent of Gympie’s tourism is drawn from the domestic market, and average visitor spending is $108 per night.

The strategy divides the Gympie region into four sub-regions (Cooloola Coast, Mary Valley Country, Gympie City, and The West) and outlines different plans for developing tourism in each one.

For Goomeri and Kilkivan (ie. “The West”) it proposes:

  • Developing a Kilkivan Bird Trail to encourage more birdwatchers to visit the area
  • Creating a “Great Australian Rail Trail” by partnering with the South Burnett, Somerset and Ipswich Councils to rebrand the Wulkuraka to Kilkivan route
  • Raising awareness about the Kilkivan Equestrian Centre and exploring new or alternative uses for Kilkivan Showgrounds and the Centre
  • Raising the profile of the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival to encourage longer stays
  • Encouraging more recreational vehicles to visit both towns through supportive amenities and services

The new strategy was unveiled by Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and is being overseen by tourism portfolio leader Cr Daryl Dodt.

It is open for public comment until August 25.

The strategy can be downloaded from Gympie Regional Council’s website, and public feedback can be lodged there as well.

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