Four-year plan to boost Moreton Bay Region tourism

Published 7:00am 12 January 2023

Four-year plan to boost Moreton Bay Region tourism
Words by Jodie Powell

Time is running out for people involved in tourism to have their say on the Moreton Bay Region’s draft Tourism Opportunity Plan.

The draft sets out Council’s intentions for tourism up to 2027, with a focus on generating value for the region rather than volume.

Among the ideas to generate longer visitor stays are kayaking tours in Pumicestone Passage, Indigenous tours focused on birds, bush tucker and cultural heritage and equine trails with tours.

The plan also says there’s enough demand to support the development of eight internationally branded hotels with a total of 1235 rooms in the next decade – a major increase on the current 204 full-service branded rooms in the region.

As well, it found there’s a need to increase other forms of accommodation such as caravan parks, glamping and luxury boutique properties to encourage people to stay in Moreton Bay.

Councillors voted in favour of adopting the draft plan for industry consultation late last year, with submissions closing on January 20.

Encouraging longer stays

Chief economic development officer Paul Martins said the plan was not necessarily about attracting more tourists, but rather about attracting the right sort of tourism and ensuring visitors were dispersed across the entire region.

“Some of our areas are actually loved very much and don’t necessarily need more tourists, they just need those tourists to come and stay a bit longer,” Mr Martins said.

Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway said having a strong commitment to tourism was important in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympics.

“We’re not just focusing on the events – what I think is important is visitation before and after,” she said.

Cr Brooke Savige (Div 1) said Bribie Island attracted a high volume of visitors, but most were day-trippers.

“The challenge Council has is how to convert those day-trips into multi-night stays,” Cr Savige said.

The draft plan says that between a lack of branded short-term accommodation and latent demand for experiences, the Moreton Bay Region is underrepresenting itself by up to $500 million in lost value from the tourism economy each year.

Click here to read the full plan and have your say.

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