Council invests $313,000 to unlock tourism industry potential

Tourists will have even more reasons to stay and play in the Burdekin, with $313,000 allocated towards growing the region’s visitor economy in Burdekin Shire Council’s 2018/19 Budget.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said tourism was a key driver for job creation as part of the economic diversification of the Shire.

“The Burdekin is unrivalled for its fantastic fishing opportunities. In a move to stamp our region as a preeminent barramundi destination, Council has allocated $30,000 to bring the Australian Fishing Championships – Barra Series to the Burdekin in the 2018/19 financial year,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“The Burdekin round of the Australian Fishing Championships – Barra Series will showcase the fantastic range of fishing opportunities on offer here in the Burdekin, from our creeks and our rivers to our open water fishing, as part of an event reaching local, national and international audiences.”

Cr McLaughlin said Council would continue to develop the existing Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival into a major destination event for the region, with $30,000 allocated to grow the event in 2019.

“Another $20,000 will be spent to undertake a range of promotional and marketing activities, including the development of a destination website to promote the Burdekin for business, tourism and lifestyle,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“Further underlying our commitment to growing the visitor economy, Council has earmarked funds for the recruitment of a new Tourism and Economic Support Officer position. This person will provide all-important support to the Burdekin’s dedicated tourism volunteers and monitor Visitor Information Centre operations and visitor services.”

Cr McLaughlin said Council viewed the local tourism industry as an underdeveloped section of the Burdekin economy with strong potential to build on.

“More than 260,000 visitors stop in the Burdekin each year and 72 per cent are day trippers,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“If we can encourage these visitors to stay longer in our shire, there is a huge opportunity to grow our visitor economy,” Cr McLaughlin.

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