Locals asked to join forces to entice tourists
MORE than 50,000 tourists are expected to pass through St George this winter season and the council wants you to become an ambassador for the town.
Against the backdrop of a newly refurbished Anchorage, a new era of tourism has dawned in the Balonne Shire and it's all tied up neatly in a new brochure.
Last Wednesday, mayor Richard Marsh and councillor Robyn Fuhrmeister joined Anchorage owners Janice and John Teunis as they opened up their house for tours.
Cr Fuhrmeister said the launch of a new brochure was a way to keep together all the Balonne had to offer.
"We desperately needed another marketing tool and we decided, with all the new extra tourism product we had in town, that it was now the time to proudly promote that,” she said.
"We decided we would put together all we have going on around the shire into a brochure for the tourism season which is about to start.
"Travellers are on the road right now, we needed another tool to try and increase the visitation of those people coming through.”
"Hopefully it will increase their stay in town, which will help out the local economy as well,” she said.
With up to 50,000 expected to pass through St George this tourism season, Cr Fuhrmeister said it was vital more locals took up their roles as ambassadors.
"There's a lot of people who don't call into the visitors information centre, we need to target that,” she said.
"If they pop into the bakery or go and get fuel, we need to make sure the locals are saying 'hey, while you're here, make sure you pop into the VIC and enjoy our beautiful Balonne river'.
"There will be more people coming through; the aim for us is to try and increase their stay and get them to stay in town an extra night.”
The significance of hosting the event at the Anchorage coincided with the Teunis' opening up the historic homestead for tours for the first time, which will coincide with a new pioneering history tour to begin next month.
"The Anchorage is a significant part of our history, considering they are now going to be opening it up as another tourism product, it was really important we showcase that as an opportunity for people to go out and view that, especially our local people,” Cr Fuhrmeister said.
"Our locals are our best ambassadors. We thought if we had an open day, allowed people to come out and see how beautiful the old house looks now it's been restored.