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Stay up to date with the latest news from Southern Queensland Country Tourism. 

15 March 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power

Greetings!

No doubt you’ve heard that I’ve decided not to renew my contract with SQCT that finishes in June 2019.  I arrived just over seven years ago planning to stay for two!  So clearly I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the helm of SQCT -  the people I’ve met, the friendships made and the work we have done together to build the destination, increase visitation and visitor spend and build the skills and capacity of industry are all personal and professional highlights for me. There’s much to be done in the meantime though, and I’ll remain active as CEO until I depart in a few months. 

Autumn is upon us and we’re marketing the season’s unique appeal in our region with a focus on events and Autumn Breathe Break deals. Thanks to those of you who have bought into our cooperative Autumn campaign which begins on March 25.  The marketing team are working away to ensure all is in place and that our co-operative partners receive the best results for their investment. 

Those of you who attended the Tourism and Networking Group meetings (TANGs) this week joined in some productive talks – it’s great to connect and discuss what’s happening regionally and in your individual businesses and find synergies where we can work together.  Of course any form of change can bring unease and speculation.  Can I ask that you keep focused on your businesses and work towards capitalising on the upcoming traditionally busy autumn and winter seasons.  Please be assured the SQCT board is moving quickly to recruit a new CEO and I am committed to supporting a seamless transition if the timing allows. 

If you’re thinking of joining one of our Digital-ready workshops to sharpen your Facebook, Instagram and website marketing skills, get in quick – they begin next week, March 18.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss tourism in our region, I’m always happy to assist. Call me in the office on (07) 4632 1988 or on my mobile 0439 321 988. 

Cheers,

Mary-Clare. 




28 Feb 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power

Greetings! 

I’m recently back from a very successful sales trip to Seoul, South Korea – visiting travel trade (agents), travel media and airlines. This trip was part of a long-term strategy we’ve undertaken over the past 4 years in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland’s Korean office. TEQ Korea devised an itinerary and escorted me to meetings with travel trade and media, Tourism Australia’s Korean office and Australia’s Ambassador to South Korea, James Choi, who knows and likes our region and was very generous with his time and insights about how we approach the Korean market.

I followed up with Olive Korea magazine, who have visited and featured us twice on the cover of their magazine and in multi-page stories; and I met again with a number of travel trade organisations who we’d met when they visited SQC on famil in November last year. It was great to continue building these important relationships and very pleasing and exciting to register the genuine interest in our region and the growth of the recognition and knowledge-base amongst them. It was exciting too, to see the work that has already been done by trade partners - some of them have begun to include SQC in their itineraries and there was great interest in farm stays, local food and wine, themed itineraries and Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. We will continue these relationship-building discussions at ATE in April. If you speak Korean, you may like to read an interview I did with Travel Times Korea.  Read here

          

Michelle Kyung, Marketing Manager TEQ Korea                 Meeting with Trade

Dinner with South Korean trade representatives who visited SQC in November 2018

Mary-Clare & Australia’s Ambassador to South Korea, James Choi                      

The new SQC Visitors’ Guide 2019/20 is hot off the press – it looks fabulous and you’ll receive yours in the mail shortly. Laura took it to the Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow in Melbourne last week; the biggest event of its kind in Victoria and she reports it was really well received and a great tool for promoting our region’s caravan and camping holiday options. Of course it includes much, much more and I think it’s our best guide yet … Congratulations to Monica and the team for the hard work they’ve put in producing the guide and thank you to our partners, both councils and operators who have supported it. We would appreciate you displaying and distributing the guide whenever you have the opportunity. Email Michelle or give us a call on 1800 688 949 for additional copies. You can also download it as an e-brochure. Click here or from our website. Please share it on your social media.   

Autumn is one of the busiest and most colourful times to visit our region. If you’d like to partner with us in our seasonal marketing, be very quick - the deadline to participate in the Autumn Breathe Break campaign is today, Thursday 28 February. The campaign is in market from March to June and has a reach of 540,000.  It targets the Brisbane and South East Queensland market via an integrated digital approach that includes Facebook and search engine marketing, online advertising, editorial with Must Do Brisbane and direct deal promotion to our Southern Queensland Country Club database of 36,000 subscribers. We are further supporting it with media famil pitches and press releases.  Contact Laura today for details – there are limited opportunities available.  Also a quick reminder to register for our Tourism Advisory Networking Group meetings on 12 and 13 March; and to come along to brush up on your social media and website marketing skills at our Digital Ready Workshops happening from mid-March to June. Delivered by the Tourism Tribe web whizzes, these free sessions are all about demystifying the digital landscape for you. Topics include maximizing your social media, how to make your product bookable online, mapping out your online strategy and increasing your website traffic. The workshops are filling up quite quickly, so please register your attendance this week. Register here for March TANG Meetings | Register here for Digital Ready Workshops

If you have any queries or would like to discuss tourism in our region, I’m always happy to assist. Call me in the office on 07 4632 1988 or my mobile on 0439 321 988

Cheers,

Mary-Clare.

 



15 February 2019: Update from Monica Groenert

Greetings!

Mary-Clare is on a sales trip promoting Southern Queensland Country in Seoul, Korea, this week –  visiting travel trade (agents), travel media and airlines. She will give you an update in the next newsletter.

Well Autumn is hurtling towards us at a great rate and we are well into our marketing campaign planning for what is always a very busy season – if you would like to know how to partner with us in putting together an Autumn ‘Breathe Break’ deal for your property, tour or attraction please see below for further information.

If getting on top of (or even starting to sort out) your social media was one of your New Year’s resolutions, then you need to book into one of our upcoming Digital Ready Workshops happening from mid-March to June. Delivered by the Tourism Tribe web whizzes, these free sessions are all about demystifying the digital landscape for you.   From maximising your social media and showing you how to make your product bookable online, to mapping out your online strategy and increasing your website traffic - they have a workshop to help.

Please note the Digital Ready Calendar is subject to change and minimum attendance numbers will determine whether workshops go ahead - so if you’re thinking about it, take the plunge and book in; they are aimed at people of varying levels of knowledge and ability – it could just be one of the best things you do for your business this year.

Are you joining us at one of the upcoming Tourism Advisory & Networking Group (TANG) meetings in March? Anita Clark from ACTourism Services will give you valuable insights into working with the travel trade – that is inbound tour operators, retailers, wholesalers and group travel planners  and pass on some valuable tips on how you can get a piece of the action. Let Michelle our Tourism Support Officer know if you’d like to come along.

Our team is always here to help if you have any queries or would like to discuss, please give us a call in the office on (07) 4632 1988.

Cheers, 

Monica Groenert

Marketing Manager.

1 Feb 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power

Greetings!

A big congratulations to Marion and Ruth at Alure Stanthorpe, and Bev and her team at Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages both properties made it into this year’s TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards Top 25 Small Hotels, Australia.  A wonderful achievement. They beat off stiff competition with the top 25 winners chosen based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide. Southern Queensland Country is in great company - in the 17th year of the awards, TripAdvisor has recognised 7,812 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide.

A reminder to register for our FREE Digital Workshops which will be delivered by the expert team from Tourism Tribe. The are happening from mid-March to June and I can’t encourage you enough to take time out of your business to ‘work on your business’; particularly as we start to gear up for Autumn and Winter. It is vital that you make the most of all of the tools available to you to drive visitation to your attraction, tour or property. 

Our #SummerInSQC competition has been a really successful way for us to increase awareness of SQC's summer experiences and encourage travel to the region. We’ve received some really good entries so far and we want to keep them rolling in until the competition closes this coming Monday.  Please help us by sharing our Facebook post  https://www.facebook.com/SouthernQueenslandCountry/ – and reminding your followers they could win a $2000 holiday in our region.    

See below for dates and details for our Tourism Advisory and Networking Group (TANG) meetings coming up in March. I’m still keen to give away a prize for anyone who can come up with a better name than TANG!

And just a final note to keep an eye out in our next E-news for details of our upcoming Autumn marketing campaign … there will be opportunities for you to partner with us in providing Breathe Break deals to reach a targeted audience with a tailored message promoting the region’s Autumn beauty and holiday appeal.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any aspect of tourism in our region, I’m always happy to assist. Call me in the office on 07 4632 1988 or on my mobile 0439 321 988. 

Cheers,

Mary-Clare.

 

17 Jan 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power

Happy New Year to you all!


It’s our second week back in the office and we’ve hit the ground running!  Although I will admit the first week was tough – no afternoon nap!


We launched our summer campaign #MySummerInSQC competition last week to increase awareness of the region’s Summer experiences and encourage people to get beyond the beach to discover the cooler side of Summer in the country.  We’ve had more than 70 entries so far and we’d love your help to push it out to your social media followers- see below for more on this.  It’s a fabulous prize; a SQC holiday to the value of $2000 for up to 4 people. Thanks to Vacy Hall, Bunya Mountains Accommodation Centre and Girraween Environmental Lodge for supplying the accommodation. Your support is invaluable.


I was very pleased with the release of the latest National and International Visitor Survey results last Wednesday which revealed record international tourist numbers for our region and very good results for domestic visitation. Our challenge continues to be in encouraging longer stays and converting some of the current 3.9m day trippers to overnight visitors.

We’d love to see you at the next Tourism Advisory and Networking Group (TANG) meetings. Please put a date claimer in your diary for Tuesday 12th March (Southern Downs & Granite Belt) or Wednesday 13th March (Toowoomba, South Burnett & Western Country). We will provide more information in the coming weeks about meeting content and venues. Great things happen when we get together and make plans!  PS. There’s a prize to whoever comes up with a better name/acronym than ‘TANG’!!!


We’re running FREE Digital Workshops from mid-March to June. Details are included below. I vigorously encourage you to take advantage of these workshops and sign up to extend your knowledge and skills in this important marketing and conversion space - you may think you know all you need to know – but things in the online world change rapidly so why not arm yourself with the latest tips and tricks from the expert team from Tourism Tribe.


We’re looking forward to another busy and exciting year.  We hope you are geared up for what we’re confident will be a terrific Autumn and Winter season as people turn their minds from the beach to the gentler lifestyle and cooler climes of the country. 

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any aspect of tourism in our region, I’m always happy to assist. Call me in the office on (07) 4632 1988 or on my mobile 0439 321 988. 

Cheers,

Mary-Clare.