Ann Bourke, Peter O'Reilly and Debbie Bradburn are helping to bring tourism back to the region.
Ann Bourke, Peter O'Reilly and Debbie Bradburn are helping to bring tourism back to the region.

Groups unite to ‘Welcome Back’ tourists to hard-hit industry

FOLLOWING an unprecedented series of natural disaster events, the wine and tourism industry are joining forces for a recovery campaign to ‘Welcome Back’ people to the area.

Together Granite Belt Wine and Tourism in partnership with the Southern Downs Regional Council, Southern Queensland Country and Tourism and Events Queensland have co-ordinated some initiatives.

“Thanks to the support we received earlier this year from Southern Downs Regional Council, we have immediately begun actions to help the wider community on the Granite Belt who rely on tourism. Whether you’re an accommodation house, attraction, tour, winery, cafe, fuel station, cleaner, supermarket or service provider, we all rely on tourism,” newly elected Granite Belt Wine and Tourism president Martin Cooper said.

“Already this past 6-8 weeks we have assisted with hosting a Caravanning Queensland sponsored film crew from Channel 7’s Creek to Coast and there’s some wonderful editorial features in national magazines and Brisbane Kids publications.

The newly elected executive of Granite Belt Wine & Tourism (GBWT) representing accommodation, tours and wineries of the Granite Belt. From left: James Goss of James Farmhouse, Chris Nolan, Granite Gardens Cottages, Burt Lancaster, Filippos Tours, Therese Fenwick, Heritage Estate Wines, Martin Cooper (President), Ridgemill Estate Wines, Debbie Bradburn (Vice President) 31 The Rocks, Lisa Barte
The newly elected executive of Granite Belt Wine & Tourism (GBWT) representing accommodation, tours and wineries of the Granite Belt. From left: James Goss of James Farmhouse, Chris Nolan, Granite Gardens Cottages, Burt Lancaster, Filippos Tours, Therese Fenwick, Heritage Estate Wines, Martin Cooper (President), Ridgemill Estate Wines, Debbie Bradburn (Vice President) 31 The Rocks, Lisa Barte

“Just some of the activities undertaken have included an international bloggers and national media famil in early October, plus digital and social campaigns and a real focus on events to push visitors to book now.

“A greater regional campaign by Southern Queensland Country encouraging visitors to take a sneaky country get-a-way is underway with over twenty value-add offers from Granite Belt tourism operators.´

“We’re thrilled with the leadership and co-ordination with Southern Queensland Country, Southern Downs Regional Council and Tourism and Events Queensland.

“Yes, we normally work together, but these recent challenges has really shown, how together we can achieve better outcomes.”

A recent workshop has re-energised the group Mr Cooper said.

“It’s so important to act now and share positive stories of the Granite Belt for future visitation and long-term economic benefit.

“We’re all rising to the challenges of fire and drought and the best donation people can give us is to take a holiday on the beautiful Granite Belt. We’re also giving tips to visitors on how to be water wise during their visit.”

GBWT will also be hosting a Day of Digital workshop in Stanthorpe on Thursday, November 21 for tourism businesses on how best to leverage the campaigns and handy tips from what type of messaging works and creating video content.

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