Burdekin residents and business operators have shared their ideas for growing tourism throughout the shire at a series of community workshops.
Burdekin Shire Council is developing a five-year tourism strategy and invited residents to have their say at workshops across Ayr and Home Hill in March.
All residents are also encouraged to complete the Burdekin Tourism Strategy online survey by visiting Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/BurdekinShireCouncil.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Council still viewed the local tourism industry as an underdeveloped section of the Burdekin economy with strong potential to build on.
“Importantly, the recent workshops run by project consultant Stafford Strategy were all about putting the community’s ideas in the spotlight,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“So many different topics were discussed, however the need for more collaboration between businesses in the promotion of the Burdekin was a common theme raised.
“The idea was that everyone in the Burdekin can be Burdekin ambassadors and play a role in promoting the shire.
“If a visitor walks into any local business and asks what there is to do, and the business operator can rattle off 10 things, it’s going to have a huge flow on effect to the visitor economy.”
Cr McLaughlin said more than 260,000 visitors stopped in the Burdekin each year and 72 per cent were day trippers.
“If we can encourage these visitors to stay longer in our shire, there is a huge opportunity to grow our visitor economy,” Cr McLaughlin.
“We know that visitors want authentic experiences. They want to see what the locals see and do what the locals do.
“The #visitburdekin hashtag is one initiative Council is actively encouraging, where locals and visitors can showcase our incredibly beautiful region by uploading their pictures to social media using this hashtag.”
The Burdekin Tourism Strategy will act as a management framework to guide Council, community organisations and private enterprise in the development of tourism product, infrastructure and investment, into the future.
“Thanks to a $15,000 funding boost from the Federal Government through its Building Better Regions Fund Community Stream, Council has been able to engage consultant Stafford Strategy to assist us with this exciting initiative,” Cr McLaughlin said.