Bundaberg residents say tourism assisted recovery

16 Jan 2014 4:00 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New research has shown that tourism has not only boosted the Bundaberg economy, but played an important role in the social recovery of the local community after last year’s devastating flood.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey said the results of the survey further illustrated the social impact of tourism on local communities across Queensland.

“The research has provided valuable insight into Queenslanders’ perceptions about tourism and the importance of this industry to our economy and wellbeing of our communities,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Ninety three per cent of Bundaberg residents surveyed believe that tourism played a crucial role in their local economy.

“A further 67 per cent of Bundaberg residents surveyed liked the way tourism was developing in the region and 72 per cent felt tourism had a positive impact on the local community.

“After years of neglect from the Labor Party, the tourism industry under the Newman Government has thrived with tourism operators across the state reporting their best ever summer holiday season.”

Member for Burnett, Stephen Bennett MP said the role that tourism has played to the local community was indisputable.

“As we move to 12 months on from the devastating floods, the return of visitors has helped this community to recover,” Mr Bennett said.

“The Bundaberg tourism industry is world-class and I encourage everyone to continue to visit this great destination.

“The Newman Government has been side-by-side with the Bundaberg community throughout their recovery process and it is immensely pleasing to see the community and tourism industry rebound with such vigour.”

General Manager Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism, Rick Matkowski welcomed the research.

“What is most gratifying is that, more than all other Queenslanders, Bundaberg locals rated the positive effect of tourism on their local community highly,” Mr Matkwoski said.

“This research demonstrates that the local community really values the visitor and the real benefits they bring to our local economy.

“The region experienced a rough start to last year with Cyclone Oswald so it is has been great to see that domestic holiday visitation to Bundaberg increased 3 per cent in the year to September 2013.”

Minister Stuckey said the research provided an insight into the value of tourism to local communities.

“Tourism and Events Queensland will continue to work in consultation with a range of industry stakeholders, including regional tourism organisations and operators, to provide direction for sustainable tourism development in Bundaberg.”

The 2013 Social Indicators research was conducted with more than 3,850 Queensland participants through an online survey. The Queensland Social Indicators 2013 factsheets are available online at www.te.queensland.com/research (external site) ( http://www.te.queensland.com/research )

[END] 16 January 2014