August 22, 2019
Visitor numbers to the South Burnett’s five Visitor Information Centres (VICs) suffered a year-on-year decline of almost 14 per cent between April and June this year.
The data is contained in the South Burnett Regional Council’s latest quarterly Economic Development Report, which was tabled at August’s monthly Council meeting.
According to the report, fewer than 11,500 tourists paid a visit to a VIC during April, May and June.
This was down from 13,165 who paid a visit during the same period last year.
To service visitor inquiries, volunteers donated close to 6100 hours over the quarter, or about 30 minutes per inquiry.
From this activity, the centres generated $22,409 in gross sales between April and June – about $3.67 per volunteer hour.
The report is the latest in a series which show the number of tourists using VICs to source local information is in decline.
Previous reports have said this is due, in part, to the changing ways that tourists get information, including turning to online sources.
Last August Council announced that while it would continue to fund the region’s VICs, it would undertake a study to determine their future.
In January, the Council released a 14-page discussion paper to canvas possible new directions for the network.
Council has yet to release the results of this discussion paper.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the Economic Development Report was passed without comment.