1 Nov 2018: Update from Mary-Clare Power
It’s November … how did that happen?! The year seems to have slipped by, although when I look back, a lot has been achieved in our region – many successful events have been staged, both large and small, new properties have opened and we’ve seen steady growth in tourism visitation.
Recently I was asked by Queensland Business Monthly to comment on the long-term vision for our region for a special tourism issue of the magazine – part of the Courier Mail’s Future SEQ Campaign.
The issue, which was published last Friday, looks at how the state and local governments, regional tourism organisations and the industry are planning to attract visitors to South East Queensland in the next 25 years. It profiles Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and our region, and looks at 'the potential, the challenges and the ideas and opportunities' that we can develop to ensure the tourism growth and prosperity of the south east corner.
I spoke about the potential of the proposed public garden mooted for Toowoomba’s old Bridge Street quarry site to ignite tourism growth in this region. Toowoomba is already known as the garden city, so establishing the Quarry Gardens would be a natural extension of that, but on a much larger scale. It would give visitors another really compelling reason to come here and would encourage the development of other attractions and accommodation.
I also spoke of the importance of business tourism and the benefits of a top conference centre in Toowoomba which would even out visitation to capture more mid-week stays and the flow on effect of pre and post conference touring for the rest of our region.
While the publication examined South East Queensland, I think it’s also a good opportunity for each operator to ask ‘where are my opportunities and where should I be focusing my business planning?’ – as what you do each day will lead to the business you have in 25 years. Food for thought.
In other news, we held our Annual General Meeting at The Empire Theatre on 22 October which resulted in some changes to the SQCT board. We say a heartfelt thanks and goodbye to industry representative Jo Berry from Kingsley Grove Wines and to Cr Rod Kelly who steps down as the Southern Downs Council representative. We welcome to the board Southern Downs Mayor, Cr Tracy Dobie and welcome back Steve Burns, owner of Nindigully Pub – it’s wonderful to have a representative from the Balonne area and it was great to see other Balonne operators show strong interest in standing for election. The board met directly after the AGM and is looking forward to reviewing our current strategy at their strategic planning meeting in early 2019. If you have any feedback or input, please contact a board member – they represent your region and your industry.
As always, I am available to discuss any issues you may have or just to have a chat about the current state of tourism in our region. I’m on 07 4632 1988 in the office or mobile 0439 321 988.