Tourism rates soar in Southern Queensland
SOUTHERN Queenslanders are feeling proud as tourism hits an all-time high.
Tourism Research Australia's National Visitor Survey has found a major increase in visitation to Southern Queensland country areas.
According to Southern Queensland Country Tourism executive officer Mary-Clare Power, the data also revealed an increase of staying overnight in regional areas.
"These figures show that more people are coming and that they are staying longer to experience more of what we have to offer," she said.
"This is a great outcome, particularly as our region continues to battle against continued drought conditions."
Many South Burnett locals fundraised for drought relief throughout 2018, with local tourism events like Baconfest donating $16,000 to the cause.
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When donating the cheque, Baconfest's chief Baconeer Kathryn Stevens acknowledged the impressive total was possible because of an influx in tourism, with approximately 8,000 people attending the Kingaroy event.
Ms Power said as well as night stays, day tripping numbers also increased.
"The amount day trippers spent in the region was up 20 per cent year on year, which is a great boost to our local economy and helps operators continue to provide some of Queensland's best experiences," she said.
Ms Power also mentioned how wineries were one of the main attractions drawing tourism to Southern Queensland regional areas.
Moffatdale Ridge Winery owner Jason Kinsella agrees that wineries are important to local tourism.
"Without well-functioning wineries, it would be a big loss for tourism and the local economy," he said.