In a year marred by a global pandemic there were still plenty of positives for the Bundaberg Region tourism industry with significant increases in domestic visitors.
Bundaberg Tourism has revealed its new board of directors and released the region’s latest tourism statistics in its annual report following an annual general meeting held on September 17.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics for the full financial year are not available, however figures from the 2019 calendar year reveal a total of 1,734,000 visitors experienced what the Bundaberg Region has to offer, spending $507 million in the process.
Before the borders closed 43,000 international tourists found their way to our shores, predominantly from the United Kingdom and Germany.
The tourism sector provided 5220 local jobs with visitors spending the equivalent of over three million nights in the Bundaberg Region.
Domestic visitors accounted for 760,000 overnight stays, an increase on 12.9 per cent year-on-year, with almost one million domestic visitors enjoying a day trip, an impressive increase of 23.5 per cent.
Larine Statham from Crush Communications was the only new face elected to the board of directors, replacing the outgoing Rhys Kummerow of Childers Eco Lodge who had served as a director since 2016.
At the annual general meeting Bundaberg Tourism chair Ross Peddlesden said it had been a challenging year for the industry as it adjusted to the “new normal”.
“The Bundaberg region’s tourism and business community has undoubtedly ridden the rollercoaster of 2019-20 with the resilience, spirit and entrepreneurship that has seen this region through previous hard times and makes it an extraordinary place to live and visit,” Mr Peddlesden said.
Other highlights of the tourism year included local operators taking out a raft of Australian and Queensland Tourism Awards and the first turtle season in the newly developed Mon Repos Turtle Centre.
“The $22 million Mon Repos Turtle Centre redevelopment presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Bundaberg Region to be recognised as a world class, year-round ecotourism experience.”
While international and interstate travellers can’t experience what the region has to offer right now, Mr Peddlesden said that hadn’t stopped them dreaming of the day they can make the trip to the Bundaberg Region.
“Visitors to the website increased by over 20 per cent year-on-year and drove hundreds of thousands of dollars of bookings to operators online.
“The region reached over 4.4 million people through social media, more than six million through digital marketing, and millions more through national and international media outlets.”
To read the Bundaberg Tourism annual report in full head to bundabergregion.org.
Bundaberg Tourism Board of Directors:
– Larine Statham, Crush Communications
– Duncan Littler, Bundaberg Distilling Company
– Tina McPherson, Tinaberries
– Ross Peddlesden, Tourism Supporter
– Carly Clark, Splitters Farm
– Alex Cameron, Water St Kitchen
– Teena Mammino, Tourism Supporter
– Warrick Wright, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
- Other news: Windy start to school holidays