The Southern Downs and Granite Belt website.
The Southern Downs and Granite Belt website. Contributed

Web snares tourists

ONLINE presence and a concerted social media push are helping grow our region, according to Southern Downs Regional Council's latest tourism specific report.

Delivered over eight weeks to key target markets throughout southeast Queensland, the autumn and early winter marketing campaign was undertaken by the SDRC Economic Development and Tourism Team.

"Our region boasts so many wonderful events, festivals and tourism experiences and the numbers in this report indicate our tourism industry continues to grow and reflect the wonderful work being done in the tourism space,” councillor for Regional Promotion, Tourism and the Arts, Rod Kelly said.

The council is hanging their hats on the creation of tourism-targeted website, southerndownsandgranite belt.com.au.

"Since May-June 2017 until May-June 2018, a 12-month period, there was an 814 per cent increase in users of the website,” an SDRC spokesperson said.

But given it's the first time data has been recorded for the website, being only a year old, those figures can expect to be inflated with nothing to compare them to previously.

More worryingly for the council, is their website pops up a long way down the list when someone is searching online for places to stay or things to do on the Granite Belt.

"SDRC is currently working on a significant SEO (search engine optimisation) project to increase its rankings,” the spokesperson said.

In the past year alone, council data indicates the website had in excess of 45,000 unique visitors, more than 116,000 website page views, over 200,000 views of its tourism videos and amassed over 12,000 followers on social media.

The council is attributing tourism growth to a steady rise in their online presence.

They also used figures from the Visitor Information Centre to back their claims.

"Stanthorpe VIC welcomed more than 22,000 people through its doors (in the past year),” the council spokesperson said.

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