Up to us to sell tourism charms
THE FRASER Coast has missed out on an opportunity for a marketing revamp alongside Tourism Queensland's rebranding, despite the tourism board putting its hand up to be part of the strategy.
On Tuesday Tourism Queensland launched a $4.16 million new-look marketing campaign, with five destinations receiving specific support for promotion alongside the general Queensland rebranding.
But the Fraser Coast was left off the list, despite visitor numbers falling 11 per cent last financial year, the greatest drop of any region in Queensland.
Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism Board deputy chairman David Hay said the board had made representations to Tourism Queensland to be one of the five regions receiving the marketing investment, without success.
“When we became aware there were five major campaign hotspots for it and the rest is generic for Queensland we obviously told them we'd like to be one of those and in their wisdom they didn't choose to do so,” he said.
But he said the region would receive a boost under the new campaign, and Tourism Queensland helped the region through their whale-watching campaign, a level of support unique to the Fraser Coast in Queensland.
Fraser Coast councillor in charge of tourism Anne Nioa said it was a pity the Fraser Coast was not a featured region.
She said the move away from marketing specific tourist destinations and towards a more experience-based marketing approach meant that the regular iconic destinations of Queensland would always be featured.
“It is just as well we have a proactive tourism board that continues to provide that destination component,” she said.
But Gary Firth, visiting for the first time from Sydney, said before he came to the Fraser Coast the only destination he had heard about in the region was Fraser Island, and that was through word of mouth, not advertising.
“All the Queensland advertising I've seen has always been just about the Gold Coast or way up around Cairns,” he said.
Mr Firth's partner, Janice Kingswell, said she had never seen an advertisement for the Fraser Coast in Sydney and the marketing for the region was not resonating throughout the rest of Australia.
“There's no ads, nothing in the papers. I think it's just word of mouth,” she said.
But they said the region's laid-back atmosphere and lack of commercialisation was a drawcard that would keep them coming back.