Why Gympie is well placed to dodge tourism crash
A LONG-term crush of the state’s tourism market thanks to indefinitely shut international borders will hopefully be blunted in the Gympie region thanks to a strong focus on its backyard.
In the last year international visitors accounted for only 8 per cent of the region’s tourism market according to data hub Economyid.
It was almost 20 per cent lower than Queensland’s rate, and the highest among our immediate neighbours.
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On the Sunshine Coast international tourist figures accounted for 12 per cent of the market; on the Fraser Coast it was 15 per cent, and in the Bundaberg region it was 21 per cent.
Cairns, which had international visitor nights accounted for 43 per cent of the market, is expected to have lost $500 million in visitor spending by the end of the month due to the pandemic.
And work was underway to have the Gympie region ready to go when pandemic laws begin to loosen.
“A strategic marketing program is currently being developed which targets the two-to-three hour drive audience and interstate visitors,” council’s community services director Pauline Gordon said.
“Council’s Tourism Strategy 2019-2024 identified Australia’s domestic market as the key priority over the next four years.”
Once the State lifts the travel restrictions, she said, Queensland residents would have about 7000sq km of “some of the most accessible natural tourism icons in Australia” to choose from right here in the region.
“From our pristine coastline to our lush hinterland and the wide open spaces to the west, there’s plenty of opportunities for visitors to maintain their social distance and an abundance of accommodation to choose from including; camping at well-known destinations such as Inskip Point, or a more personalised experience at a boutique B&B in the Mary Valley or Kilkivan.
“Gympie continues to surprises its visitors as they scratch the surface and uncover this extraordinary part of Queensland.”