Granite Belt being left out
"NOT good enough" is the message coming from the Stanthorpe business community to the Destination Southern Downs board.
On August 12, Stanthorpe retailer Lucille Jensen sent a message to the administrators of the Stanthorpe Visitors Information and DSD Facebook pages asking that they share a Stanthorpe Gremlins RLFC status about the Intrust Super Cup match held at the weekend.
DSD staff responded by explaining that localised events such as the Intrust game, which was televised to 140,000 people across Australia should be shared through the Visitor Information Centre first.
"If this board has a one region approach then why are they adopting a bottom up approach to their social media?" Mrs Jensen asked.
"Shouldn't everything be shared to the one page and fed down the line?
"One would assume that if you are thinking as one region that posting should first occur for the whole region and then be shared to the localised centres."
DSD shared an Intrust post on August 13, at 4.30pm and the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Visitor Information Centre first shared a post about the game on August 12 at 4pm.
DSD board chairperson Corinne Butler said due to the limited time-frame given, the post was shared at "optimum times" over the following two days.
The response was the nail in the coffin for Mrs Jensen who said the way DSD handled the Granite Belt snow event last month was less than impressive.
"The Granite Belt saw one of the most significant media events to occur in nearly 30 years which received national media attention," she said.
"But let's look at the stats, Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Visitor Information Centre made zero posts about the snow, Warwick Qld Visitor Information Centre again made zero posts while Destination Southern Downs made six posts."
Mrs Jensen also criticised the comments made by DSD interim general manager Tracey Vellacott to local media about how she was "happy to see the snow chasers stop by in Warwick and check out the tree jumpers".
"Once again no mention of the Granite Belt, but how good the snow was for Warwick," she said.
"How long will it take for the industry to revolt like they did when they got fed up with the regional tourism body the Southern Downs Tourism Association?
"This whole winter season has passed us by with no active marketing for the Granite Belt region, the only thing that has happened is they've taken away the GBWT marketing manager, and left us with nothing.
"One doesn't start to build a house, start a business until the plans are made and ready to go. Destination Southern Downs had no plans at July 1 so why were they allowed to start operating such a significant budget? It's a disgrace."
Phil Moye from 31 The Rocks agreed.
"The only people who lose in the region are on the Granite belt," he said.
"As a business owner, I have heard nothing from DSD all this winter season."
Mrs Butler explained the DSD social media strategy which involved merging the Warwick Events Facebook page with the Warwick Visitor Information Centre page.
"Each page performs a different role and targets a variety of tourism segments," she said.
"Tourism operators can contact us direct or through a Visitor Information Centre.
"We will then share information across appropriate social media pages, where relevant to meet the needs of our visitors.
"Despite being such a young organisation, operations are progressing well. The board and staff have identified a myriad of ways to use our combined resources to promote tourism and the tourist experience in this area."
Mrs Butler said to keep an eye out for a series of media releases and industry newsletters.
More to come...
- An Information session and prospectus launch will happen at the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre from 10.30am - 11.30am on Tuesday, September 8.