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New Strategy to direct future of Goondiwindi region’s tourism

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Supporting local tourism operators to hone their ‘visitor experience’ and further investing in the region’s public art are just some of the priority tourism projects that will receive Council focus over the coming year.

Goondiwindi Regional Council adopted its new Visitor Strategy 2020-2024 at its meeting on Thursday [30 Jan]. The Visitor Strategy will provide a framework for the region’s visitor economy planning, marketing and development over the next five years.

More than 216,000 people visited the Goondiwindi region in 2018-19, generating a total visitor economy of $66.8 million for the region. Research shows that 27% of those visitors are business related, with another 24% visiting to see friends and family – meaning that the Goondiwindi region’s visitor economy in particular is widely different to the traditional holiday or caravanning tourist.

Mayor Graeme Scheu explained that the new Strategy will focus Council’s efforts to attract new visitors to the region, retain its current visitor numbers and increase visitor expenditure.

“Tourism is a growing industry for us here the Goondiwindi region and in the dry years, it’s the contribution of visitor dollars to our local retail businesses and food providers that can keep our region afloat,” Cr Scheu said.

“Research shows that the majority of visitors to our region come here either for business, to see family and friends or for one of the many events throughout the year. We also have a great opportunity to attract new visitors in 2020 with Tourism Australia launching their new domestic campaign to ‘Holiday here this year’,” the Mayor said.

Council invited feedback from community groups, businesses, event co-ordinators and other interested parties in the region when preparing the new Strategy. The findings and insight from this consultation helped to identify a list of seven priority projects that will form the focus of Council’s efforts in the next 6–12 months. Those priority projects are:

  • Mentoring for local tourism operators in building ‘experiences’ and digital capabilities
  • An investment in detailed data about visitors to our region
  • Investment and support for public art (including completing the Yelarbon silos and supporting the Texas water tower project)
  • Collaborating on Indigenous Tourism opportunities as Queensland celebrates The 2020 Year of Queensland Indigenous Tourism
  • Sourcing funding to undertake a master plan for the Goondiwindi Boat Ramp area
  • Mentoring support for the Texas Country Music Festival
  • Considering recommendations for improvements to the Goondiwindi Visitor Information Centre.

 

These ‘priority projects’ will be reviewed annually, allowing for new Councillors to have a say on the future direction in addition to the community consultation. In light of the March election, the current priority projects have been identified for Council to pursue in the short-term, to focus its resources and secure achievable outcomes while we transition to a new Council, who may wish to set their own priorities and goals.

“We locals know that the Goondiwindi region is a fantastic place to live and work, and we want people from around the country to discover why we are ‘Regional Australia at its Best’,” Cr Scheu said.

“The Visitor Strategy will provide a focus to help to attract more visitors to the region and encourage them to stay longer and spend more. Tourism in the region is one of those sectors where we could have a never-ending wish list of projects we’d like to see, however, Council cannot do that alone and partnering with the region’s industry operators is critical in achieving that growth.”

For more information, please contact:

Councillor Graeme Scheu
Mayor
Goondiwindi Regional Council
Mobile: 0427 718 877
Email: mayor@grc.qld.gov.au

Published: 5th February 2020