RAPAD wants to know who is visiting the region to boost tourism growth

The Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) and tourism operators in central western Queensland are embarking on a project to find out more about tourists who visit the region, so the vital industry can continue to grow.

Tourism operators in western Queensland identified at a RAPAD tourism roundtable meeting last year that a lack of specific data about visitors to the central-western Queensland was impacting the region’s ability to attract tourism investment, and quantify the value of the sector to the region in order to support continued growth.

RAPAD Chairman Rob Chandler says the available information is not specific enough to be useful.

“Most of the usual industry publications like the Tourism Regional Profile, released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), is based on Outback Queensland which is far larger than Central West Queensland.

“The only Local Government profile issued by TRA is for Longreach, none of the other 6 councils that make up RAPAD are mentioned,” he said.

RAPAD is now calling for tenders to undertake the work to provide this much-needed tourism information.

“Without precise data, it makes it very difficult for local tourism operators to make informed decisions and help RAPAD and councils better attract investment.

“If you are a tourism operator on the Gold Coast or in Sydney this detailed information would be at your fingertips and would be a large part of how you make decisions,” Councillor Chandler said.

RAPAD has identified tourism as a key enabler for the region’s economic development.  Access to specific data will greatly empower the seven Central Western Queensland local governments through improving decision making and resource allocation.

It will also help Central West Queensland tourism businesses make decisions about their tourism offer, expanding into other products, location of new investments and expanding their workforce.

A greater understanding of the demands of the tourists, what products and experiences they are most likely to be interested in, and the estimated demand in a particular period, will mean the local industry can better plan and develop products that are better suited.

The successful tenderer will be confirmed in August with the results due early next year.