November 11, 2020
The South Burnett’s local tourism association, Visit South Burnett, hopes to appoint a Tourism Development Officer within weeks.
The group is developing agreed Key Performance Indicators with the South Burnett Regional Council to guide the officer’s work.
Visit South Burnett also hopes to be able to provide local tourism operators and events organisers with the most detailed and accurate data about visitor numbers, visitor behaviour and key markets in coming months, courtesy of an agreement recently struck with the Southern Queensland Country regional tourism organisation.
In future, the group also hopes to launch and market co-operative packages informed by this marketing data that will allow local operators to take advantage of visitor market segments they may currently miss.
News about these developments was given to a meeting of about 30 Visit South Burnett members held at Wooroolin Hall on Tuesday night.
The meeting was also attended by South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto, Cr Kathy Duff and Cr Kirstie Schumacher, along with CEO Mark Pitt and BIEDO Economic Development Officer Olivia Everett.
Cr Gavin Jones – who had to attend a meeting of the Maidenwell Community Group the same night – sent his apologies.
President Jason Kinsella said VSB’s eight-member executive had been very busy over the past few months since the South Burnett Regional Council agreed to enter into a joint venture with the industry-led group.
He said striking a final agreement with the Council had taken until mid-October, and the Council’s initial funding had arrived a few weeks after that.
In the meantime, the group had ensured it was properly constituted as a not-for-profit organisation.
Attention had now switched to finding additional funding sources for the group; forging relationships with the Regional Tourism Organisation; and interviewing applicants for the crucial Tourism Development Officer role.
Mr Kinsella said VSB’s executive was very pleased with the high calibre of applicants they had interviewed and hoped to announce the successful candidate shortly.
The group was also grateful to Council for offering free office space for the officer, who is likely to be based in Wondai.
Mr Kinsella said Visit South Burnett was also very pleased to note that the easing of pandemic travel restrictions – but not State borders – appears to have had a positive effect on the region’s tourism traffic.
In August, the South Burnett’s visitor numbers rose by 27 per cent and visitor spending rose by 31 per cent compared with a year ago, and that upward trend appeared to have continued through September and October.
Mr Kinsella said Visit South Burnett’s next meeting would be its Annual General Meeting, which would be held at Kingaroy Town Hall on Tuesday, December 1.
Once the formalities were concluded, this meeting would be followed by an industry meet’n’greet and he hoped tourism operators throughout the region would take advantage of it, whether they were currently Visit South Burnett members or not.