REVEALED: Where's the biggest new TV in CQ?
THE Rockhampton CBD will shine bright at night with a new 42 square metre digital billboard installed in the heart of the city.
FRIENDS and relatives of Townsville residents are spurning the city as a holiday destination, leading to a significant drop in tourism spending.
Industry leaders are hoping investment in key Townsville projects will stimulate growth.
Tourism and Events Queensland figures show overnight visitor expenditure fell by 13.9 per cent to $744.9 million for the year ending June 2017.
The largest decline was experienced in the “visiting friends and relatives” segment, which fell 29.4 per cent.
Overall 1.1 million people, including holiday and business travellers, visited Townsville in that period.
Townsville Enterprise Ltd tourism and events director Bridget Woods said the visitor figures were disappointing but not unexpected.
She said TEL had been working closely with Townsville City Council on the CBD masterplan to address the decline in tourism.
“We’re working together towards new infrastructure that not only benefits the community (but also) has a flow-on benefit for visitors,” she said.
Ms Woods said developments in the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area such as the $56 million SeaLink tourism plan would be the key to a revival of the tourism figures.
Ms Woods said the new CBD stadium, a possible exhibition and entertainment centre and concert hall were also priorities for the city.
“Our focus has been on looking for new investment for tourism infrastructure. This investment is essential to help us boost our visitation numbers,” she said.
“But we also need to see the community come on board and speak proudly about the great city we live in, and encourage friends and family to visit.”
Ms Woods said there were signs the market was recovering, with a 10.4 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger movements at Townsville Airport in August.
Ms Woods admitted Cairns had a much stronger tourism market which had been built off the back of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.
“We’re exploring opportunities to create packages with operators in the Cairns market, to capitalise on the fly-and-drive experience,” she said.
“We’ve just implemented a strong billboard campaign that we’ve done in partnership with Paradise Outdoor Advertising and in July we installed 20 billboards across Queensland.”
That campaign will run for three years