Events and infrastructure driving Outback tourism

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Age of Dinosaurs museum
Dinosaurs are helping to attract visitors to the Outback.

An increasing number of innovative events and strong investment in tourism attractions is helping drive growth in the number of people visiting Outback Queensland.

Statistics show a 77% rise in visitor numbers in the past decade.  According to Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) figures, in the year ending June 2019, the Outback Queensland region recorded 1,076,000 visitors, adding up to 6,185,000 nights and $724.1m in expenditure.

The figures work out at an average growth of 5.9% in visitor numbers, 7.6% in nights and 9.6% in expenditure each year.

TEQ CEO Leanne Coddington told the North Queensland Register that it had been an exciting 10 years.

“Events in particular have been hugely beneficial to the Outback because they give people a reason to travel and experience the destination,” she said. “New infrastructure has also been built, from the glass bridge at Cobbold Gorge to the Age of Dinosaurs expansion at Winton – attractions that will continue to excite visitors for years to come.”

Since its 2009 move from Belmont, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum has seen visitation increase by an average 18% a year, going from 4842 visitors in 2009 to 36,937 visitors in 2018.

Work is now underway on two new infrastructure attractions: the Gondwana Stars Observatory and March of Titanosaurs exhibition. Both are expected to open in September.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs business development manager, Naomi Miles, told the Register that a lot of planning goes into driving the museum’s growth.

“It is a critical objective of the museum to not only be sustainable but also act as a catalyst for job creation and economic activity in the outback, to build a stronger regional community into the future,” she said.

The Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach has also had a successful decade. Last year, it saw to 46,000 visitors, the highest number of visitor since its opening. It’s forecast that visitor numbers will increase to 56,000 a year by 2024.

As well as looking at events and tourism infrastructure, experts say more emphasis on foodie trails in the future will see more travellers supporting the local artisans, hearing the stories behind the farms and plantations from the source, and sampling locally grown produce.

  • What is it that makes you want to get out into the Outback? Comment below.

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3 Responses to Events and infrastructure driving Outback tourism

  1. Yep.
    Get up to FNQ and outback qld.
    Plenty of rv friendly towns and places of interest
    Low cost camps and free parks

  2. Pretty simple 1. you dont pay sky high prices. 2 the people are friendly. 3 the little towns welcome and appreciate you.4 there is not even half the traffic5 they supply free or low cost camping, and 6 and probably most important is that contrary to popular belief grey nomads do have good memories, at least when it comes to being ripped off on the coast. Stevo.

  3. It is so interesting to see the out back, the varsnes of the area, so different to the major towns or cities. Like in your article, you see what Winton has to offer, also the history, and the people are more friendly.

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