Maranoa councillors approve mayor’s new tourism idea
Maranoa councillors have voted in favour of mayor Tyson Golder’s tourism initiative to bring visitors from the coast to the country to engage in ‘real life’ adventures like shearing, fishing, horse riding or heading out to the Mitchell Spa.
In the Maranoa Regional Council meeting on Wednesday, March 24, mayor Golder moved his ‘Micro Tourism Initiative for the Maranoa’, seconded by Cr George Ladbrook.
“What’s micro-tourism,” Cr Joh Hancock asked.
The mayor told councillors around the table of his hopes to find an interested contractor to sell ‘tourism activities’ online, such as fishing, learning to knit with local wool spinners, or take tours to Tooloombilla or Mitchell or wherever they wish.
“This could benefit a range of local businesses,” Cr Golder said.
“It’s a different experience, like instead of trying to bring 500 people here at once, it’s bringing opportunities where we package up in five local areas experiences and sell them online.”
In turn, council would benefit as the travellers would spend money in other local businesses, accommodation and on food.
Councillor Wendy Taylor asked the mayor what he meant by selling it “online”.
“If for instance, you’re not from the country, and wanted to learn how to fish that could be an experience that the contractor asks the community for someone to show them … who would be interested in taking these people,” Cr Golder said.
“Micro might mean only have one family who could come out.
“There’s hundreds of local experiences … like if Tooloombilla wanted more people to visit, they would put up their package up, there is a lot of feedback that’s what families want but they don’t have the confidence to go find it themselves.”
Councillor Ladbrook shared his fond memory of having three fathers and their children camp on his property years ago.
“They went yabbying and stayed for a week – put up tents and the fathers still say they speak about it,” he said.
“We think it’s run-of-the-mill stuff but people from the city think it’s the best holiday they have had.”
In a similar fashion, Cr John Birkett agreed that it was simple for country people, but great to open city people’s eyes to shearing, seeing kangaroos, the spa and horse riding.
Councillor Cameron O’Neil asked the mayor whether council would be encouraged to speak to current tourism providers in the area, such as Boobook Ecotours.
The mayor said if his motion was approved, council would arrange a contractor to organise these holidays and the contractor would be paid by council or council would receive a percentage of the ticket price.
All nine councillors voted in favour of council putting out expressions of interest for contractors to meet with council and outline their vision on providing opportunities for experiences in the Maranoa promoted online.