Outback Queensland Tourism Association CEO Denise Brown and Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole.
Outback Queensland’s peak tourism body has welcomed Balonne Shire Council to its membership.
Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) CEO Denise Brown said it was a great move for the region that will see marketing for Balonne Shire’s tourism better aligned with its Outback counterparts.
“This is a most welcome move that will put Balonne firmly in its place as an Outback destination and also help boost the diversity of Outback Queensland’s tourism and events offering,” Ms Brown said.
“Balonne Shire offers fantastic experiences that are a perfect fit for our destination – from big open skies, national parks teeming with wildlife, welcoming small communities and rich cultural heritage.
“You can also expect to see the region’s iconic painted silos, waterside townships and massive expanses of fresh produce enhance our marketing efforts as Balonne Shire is included in our activity plans from 2021.”
Ms Brown said the move was completed in consultation with the Shire’s previous regional tourism organisation, Southern Queensland Country, which agreed that Balonne will better sit within the Outback Queensland region.
“Balonne joins a highly engaged and vibrant destination where tourism contributes an estimated $443.7 million to the region and supports 4,600 jobs.”
“OQTA is looking forward to working with the entire team at Balonne Shire to keep our sector viable and ensure visitors to our region enjoy a memorable and authentic holiday experience.”
“Our partnerships with Councils across the Outback are vital to developing and sustaining a vibrant and resilient industry and we look forward to a successful partnership along with our 18 other councils,” she said.
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole said the move would have a positive impact on the region’s tourism sector.
“Joining OQTA was a logical step to ensure our marketing, consumer and trade response could deliver the best outcomes for our region’s operators and local economy,” Mayor O’Toole said.
“Now more than ever Council’s drive for strong partnerships with leading organisations like OQTA is vital as we unite to recover from COVID-19 – and we have our tourism sector firmly in our focus,” she said.
“While the pandemic has meant we may have to do business differently we also recognise that we need to be on the front foot as restrictions change and more people are having to holiday at home.
“This new partnership will allow us to take advantage of the increased interest from the domestic market putting Balonne in the spotlight through OQTA campaigns and activities like never before.
“We’re excited to take this step and look forward to working with OQTA and our tourism operators to put our world-class Balonne experiences on Outback Queensland holiday itineraries.”