Coast tourism boss reveals plan for $5.5 million funding
THE Fraser Coast's tourism chief has revealed a bold plan to secure and expand the industry.
Speaking to the Chronicle after the Fraser Coast Regional Council announced $5.5 million of funding for Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, general manager Martin Simons outlined plans for event expansion, destination marketing and improved visitor services.
"We will continue to work with the state government and council to develop the capacity for growth, for example we have had Chinese language videos produced to highlight our top products overseas," he said.
"We are fortunate to have an entrepreneurial council open to ideas and willing to back tourism initiatives to drive growth."
The Fraser Coast Regional Council will provide the funding as part of a new three-year agreement with the region's peak tourism body.
At its meeting yesterday, the council endorsed a new draft agreement with FCTE, with the agreement to be finalised and in place by July 1, 2019.
Mr Simons said the sum was similar to what had been received in the past and accounted for about 55 per cent of the organisation's budget.
Mr Simons said the funding would be used to emulate the results of successful events such as By the C and the Joey's Mini World Cup, which provided an opportunity to "trial" the region.
"When they come for events like Joey's, which was across five days, not only does it bring the economic benefit at the time but families get to see the region and want to come back here for a holiday," he said.
"This is keeping true to our goals which are all about visitation and tourism spend.
"Things like events, marketing, product development of whale watching and the Royals visit have contributed to this."
Councillor Stuart Taylor said tourism was one of the pillars of the Fraser Coast's economy and the new funding agreement would assist the peak body to drive continued growth in visitor numbers and spending.
"The most recent figures released by Tourism Research Australia show that the growth in domestic overnight visitors to the Fraser Coast continued to outpace the state average in the year to December 2018, and are now at a record level of 772,000," he said.