Gympie council chases LGBT tourism dollar for Rainbow
GYMPIE Regional Council is hoping to capture the pink tourism dollar, attracting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) visitors to put the "rainbow” in Rainbow Beach.
The council met yesterday for its councillor workshop, and was briefed on the Destination Gympie Region Quarterly Report.
A council staff member said the council was in talks with Gay Australia to promote the entire region, but particularly Rainbow Beach, in the "important tourism sector”.
Mayor Mick Curran said the council would look to boost the existing LGBT visitation to the region, hoping to emulate success on the Sunshine Coast.
"Noosa does very well out of that side of tourism,” Cr McDonald said.
Councillor Mark McDonald was confident attracting the pink tourism dollar would boost Rainbow Beach tourism.
"There's a lot of money out there,” Cr McDonald said.
"There's a good spend in that market place.”
After attending events organised by LGBT family members, Cr McDonald said they know how to throw a party.
"I have a ball. They're great people,” he said.
"They put it on, I'll be there.”
The region last year saw a significant boost to tourism, with tourists bringing a total of $199.4 million direct and indirect revenue to the region in the year leading up to March 2015, up on $120.8 million in 2014 and $137.7 million in 2013.
Ticket sales for the Gympie Music Muster have slumped this year on last year's sales, but are still an increase on 2014.
Cr Curran said the the council had to keep working at ways to put the region in the tourism spotlight.
"It's travelling along fairly well, but we could always do better,” he said.
He said reviving the Mary Valley Rattler was another vital step.
"The Rattler will play a big part, because it's a point of difference,” Cr Curran said.
The council is looking at other opportunities to boost tourism across the region.
Destination Gympie Region is looking to upgrade its website for a more marketing-savvy design, is in talks to promote the region with Adventure Queensland and has installed a touch screen self-service machine at the Gympie Visitor Information Centre at Lake Alford Park.