Proposed changes for our visitor information centres
WITH more than half a million visitors to the region annually, tourist information centres in the South Burnett are a valuable source of local knowledge for travellers.
And now, to keep up with the ever-changing technological word, they are in line for some proposed upgrades.
The South Burnett region has visitor information centres (VIC) in Kingaroy, Nanango, Wondai, Murgon and Blackbutt.
According to data recorded by the VICs, in the past 10 years the VIC network has attracted 565,605 visitors to the region.
South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt was impressed by the centres and the volunteers who run them.
He said the proposed changes were to assist in maintaining the high quality and beneficial nature of the centres.
“Going forward, we want to equip them with better facilities, such as Wi-Fi, (and) maybe bringing in coffee to attract the young ones,” Mr Pitt said.
He said a ‘simple win’ could be to improve the VIC’s search engine optimisation, to increase their online presence.
“That could be something that is done quite quickly,” Mr Pitt said.
According to the 10-year data collected in the report, an average of 16,855 visitors per year came into the Kingaroy VIC between 2009 to 2018, which was the highest of all the region’s VICs.
Murgon was the lowest with 7932 average annual visitors.
From 2014 to 2018, the VIC network recorded growth of 1.2 per cent in visitors.
The five years prior (2009 to 2013) had a 15.4 per cent decline.
When asked when the proposed changes could be put in place, the region’s administrator said it would be ‘business as usual’ at least until early next year.
“It will be a process, these sorts of conversation do get picked up in the budget,” he said.
“It will get picked up after March 28, with the new council."
He acknowledged the exceptional efforts of the hardworking volunteers and said the centres were ‘such an important tourism asset’.
“Our volunteers are just marvellous, they are just gold,” Mr Pitt said.
“Whatever we can do to continue to improve them (VICs) we will.”