Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Promotion Key to Tourism Boom; Council's Plan to Up the Ante

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Promotion Key to Tourism Boom; Council's Plan to Up the Ante

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould joel.gould@qt.com.au

PROMOTE it and they will come.

That is the message coming through loud and clear from Tourism Research Australia's national visitor survey for the 12 months to September of 2016, which has seen a 23% increase in domestic overnight visitors to Ipswich.

That translated to an extra 103,000 domestic overnight visitors and a $75 million boost to the local economy.

Ipswich's increase is outstripping more fancied tourist hotspots. For the same period Brisbane experienced a 5% increase in overnight visitors and Gold Coast 4%.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the council had realised it needed to up the ante in promoting the city's drawcards "by taking a collaborative approach with tourism operators" to promote Ipswich and its many attractions to a wider audience through the Ipswich Destination Marketing, Management and Events Plan.

This was evident when the council paid for a travel writer from a Sydney-based Sunday newspaper to visit a wide cross-section of tourist attractions and operators in Ipswich.

The result was a full page promoting what the city has to offer. Instead of forking out $40,000 for a full page add, the $2000 paid to host the journalist proved to be an investment that paid off.

Floating Images Hot Air Balloon Flights marketing manager Ruth Day said the tourism figures did show there was an increase in people wanting to visit Ipswich as a destination and that had a snowballing effect which assisted other tourism operators and attractions locally.

Ms Day said the council had lifted its promotion of tourist attractions in recent times to complement what the businesses, including hers, were already doing.

"Our figures have increased a lot over the last 12 months to three years," she said.

"We have done a lot of promotional work and probably 70% of our clients come from outside of the Ipswich region. …

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