12 May: Strengthening the Scenic Rim’s tourism industry and boosting visitation is at the core of Scenic Rim Regional Council-led bushfire recovery efforts.
Strengthening the Scenic Rim’s tourism industry and boosting visitation is at the core of Scenic Rim Regional Council-led bushfire recovery efforts.
The Scenic Rim has faced eight months of back-to-back disasters, from significant losses suffered in bushfires dating back to September 2019 through to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, Scenic Rim Councillors acknowledged significant bushfire and tourism recovery projects to be undertaken through various funding agencies, as determined through more than six months of consultation, feedback and advocacy.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said building industry capability was key.
“The agreed projects will address marketing, industry capacity and capability building, destination development, visitor dispersal and regional events to drive recovery, visitation and overnight spend,” he said.
“Council will support individual tourism operators and provide access to experts to ensure their operation is being marketed as professionally as possible.
“As the Scenic Rim’s lead destination marketing agency, Council will work closely with the region’s tourism operators, Local Tourism Organisations, Brisbane Marketing, Tourism and Events Queensland and government agencies to ensure the Scenic Rim sharpens its competitive edge as domestic travel opens back up again.
“There will also be a strong focus on building resilience through solutions including business continuity plans, evacuation plans and advocacy on issues of concern such as rising insurance premiums.”
Cr Christensen said it was the Scenic Rim’s time to shine.
“The Scenic Rim will need to shine its brightest as every destination in Australia will be competing for domestic tourists as we all push to recover from the losses suffered through the bushfires and COVID-19,” he said.
“As we build the capability of our tourism industry, we’ll be strengthened to really showcase the beauty of the Scenic Rim through avenues including a comprehensive refresh of the Visit Scenic Rim tourism website to meet the needs of all operators, a tactical marketing campaign targeting the drive market within a two-hour radius and moves toward a more unified approach to tourism development and marketing to maximise all our efforts and provide clear information to visitors.
“To amplify the new destination marketing campaign, Council will embark on an unprecedented media buy which will include television as well as outdoor and digital advertising. This is the first time the Scenic Rim has been able to afford a 'mainstream' destination campaign, and it is a significant outcome of this funding."
Cr Christensen said funding would also be directed toward 10th anniversary celebrations of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week in 2021, after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of 2020 Eat Local Week. He said the Scenic Rim’s tourism industry underpinned the success of the region.
“The more robust our tourism economy is, the better it is for all of the Scenic Rim as tourism, together with agriculture, is the Scenic Rim’s biggest employer,” he said.
“And as we know the flow-on effects of a strong tourism industry are significant for us, as visitors also stop in at our local shops, eat at our local cafes and restaurants and fill their cars up at our local service stations. These tourism recovery opportunities will support the Scenic Rim to put its best foot forward and bounce back better than ever.”
Cr Christensen said Council continued to advocate for the local tourism industry.
“We must understand the complexities of these grants and Council’s efforts to develop projects that meet the guidelines to gain approval so Funding Agreements can be negotiated and finalised before any of the projects can even start,” he said.
“What we have secured represents more than six months of determination and negotiation, however the real work is in the delivery in the myriad of projects in partnership with our tourism industry.
"We acknowledge the significant support from all levels of government, and Council is now in the process of applying for further grants to support ongoing recovery.”
Council will continue to review and monitor the implementation of the Bushfire Recovery projects as we deal with the more recent events, which have impacted the local economy.