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In this edition…
  • CEO Message
  • BOQE: Social Media Assessment Criteria
  • QDEP: Round 27 Open for Applications
  • Grow Cultural Tourism Fund
  • Queensland’s Spotlight on House Hunters International
  • King of the Mountain
  • Member Spotlight – Miles Historical Village Museum
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Queensland Tourism Awards, a gala event that showcases the best of our industry. I extend my congratulations to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers for taking the Gold in the 'Major Festival and Events' category. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is the longest running event of its kind in Australia, it has retained its market relevance through each of its evolutions, and continues to draw phenomenal numbers to our region each year, its continued success is largely due to the hard work of 'Carnival Kate' and her team who so consistently deliver this fabulous event each year. 
Additionally, Congratulations to Esk Caravan Park and Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Motel for winning the ‘RACQ People’s Choice Award – Accommodation’. I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate all of our region's nominees, including Warwick Rodeo, Barrel View Luxury Cabins, and the Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre, for their exceptional contributions and achievements. These well-deserved accolades reflect the hard work and dedication of our tourism operators.

Exciting news comes from Austrade's Tourism Research Australia, forecasting a record high in visitor economy expenditure for 2023. The report anticipates a 23% increase over pre-pandemic levels, reaching $170.3 billion. This growth is primarily driven by robust domestic visitor expenditure, with international visitor spend expected to surpass its pre-pandemic level in 2024. By 2028, we anticipate 12.1 million international visitors, contributing significantly to our economy. This projection underscores the importance of our continued efforts in promoting Southern Queensland Country as a premier destination.

The Towards Tourism 2032 Annual Scorecard, released recently, offers insights in the realms of economic and social impacts. Economically, we've seen a significant rise in overnight visitor expenditure, reaching $33.2 billion as of June 2023, a remarkable increase from the previous year. Tourism's contribution to the Gross State Product also rose notably to $21.5 billion. Socially, while there's strong community support for tourism, it's crucial to continuously engage with and involve communities in tourism decisions. This aligns with our region's goals of fostering sustainable growth and ensuring that tourism benefits both our economy and the social fabric of our communities. For an in-depth understanding of these trends and more, I encourage you to explore the full scorecard .

In alignment with global trends, we're focusing on sustainable tourism. Last week, State and Territory Tourism Ministers launched the Sustainable Tourism Toolkit and the National Sustainability Framework. These resources, available on and business.gov.au, are designed to assist businesses in adopting sustainable practices. These resources are more than just guidelines; they are practical tools designed to help businesses across our region implement sustainable practices effectively. From reducing environmental impacts to promoting eco-friendly tourism experiences, these tools cover a broad spectrum of sustainability. This initiative not only supports our regional tourism businesses in becoming greener but also positions the Southern Queensland Country region with an opportunity to become a leader in sustainable tourism practices. This aligns perfectly with the growing demand among travellers for environmentally responsible and sustainable travel experiences, ensuring our region stays competitive and attractive in the global tourism landscape.
Are you ready for the Best of Queensland Experiences (BOQE) Program Assessment? Each fortnight we have been providing tips on how to better your score, this week we are talking social media. The BOQE program sets benchmarks for social media engagement, crucial for tourism products aiming for excellence. To meet these criteria, participants must achieve at least two out of three key benchmarks on a chosen platform - Facebook or Instagram.
  • Average Posts Per Week: A consistent presence is key, with a benchmark of four posts per week. This includes various types of posts such as wall posts, album posts, and shared content.
  • Consistency of Posts: Variability in posting should be less than 65%, ensuring a regular and predictable online presence.
  • Engagement: Average of 20 points per post where like = 1 point, comment = 2 points and share = 3 points

These criteria underscore the importance of a robust and consistent social media strategy in engaging tourists and showcasing the wealth of experiences available in Queensland​.

Unfortunately, Facebook and Instagram DO NOT share assessable data where an operator’s:

 • Facebook or Instagram may have visibility restrictions applied (e.g. pages may be unpublished, have age restrictions or country restrictions) 
 • Facebook or Instagram may not be a Business Account (and connected to Facebook)

We highly recommend you check that you have registered your business socials as business Accounts and build a simple strategy around posting consistently to gain BOQE points in this area. 
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Calling All Event Organisers in Southern Queensland Country!

Get ready to make your mark! The Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP) Round 27 is now open for applications until February 1, 2024. If you're planning an event between September 2024 and 2025, this is your chance to shine.
QDEP aims to boost local economies, attract visitors, and enhance community spirit in our region. It's an opportunity to not just host an event, but to ignite economic and social growth in Southern Queensland Country.

Find out more about eligibility and the application process, and let's bring your event to life!
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The Grow Cultural Tourism Fund, is a vital initiative of the Queensland Government's Grow 2022-2026 action plan, it is designed to elevate arts and cultural events across Queensland. This fund aims to strengthen the local arts sector, activate communities, and position Queensland as a premier cultural tourism destination.
Fund Objectives:
  • Developing new arts and cultural events.
  • Expanding non-arts events with Queensland arts and cultural programming.
  • Enhancing existing arts and cultural events to increase visitation.
  • Creating employment opportunities in the arts and cultural sector.
  • Building community capacity to deliver cultural events​​.

Funding Streams:
  • Feasibility studies for new cultural tourism events.
  • Embedding arts and cultural programming in existing non-arts events.
  • Enhancing the reach and impact of existing cultural events​​.

Funding Availability:
  • Up to $30,000 for new event feasibility studies.
  • Up to $50,000 for embedding arts and cultural programming in non-arts events.
  • Up to $80,000 for established cultural events​​.

Application Process:
  • Applications for Round 1 are open from 25 November 2023 to 29 February 2024.
  • Full details and online application forms are available on the Arts Queensland website​​​​.
Learn More
Do you know an individual, family or couple planning to relocate to Queensland? Or a staff member who has just arrived to work with you?

HGTV's "House Hunters International" is on the lookout for Australian talent for their 2024 series. This is a unique opportunity to showcase Queensland to a global audience.
We're inviting individuals, couples, or families planning to move to Queensland, or those new to the region, to share their relocation journey on this popular show. It's not just a personal adventure but a chance to highlight the diverse beauty of Queensland.

Participants will explore and indulge in iconic leisure activities in our scenic region, offering exceptional exposure for Queensland's tourism. The show reaches over 10 million viewers in America and is broadcast globally.

How to Participate

Interested candidates should contact Anita at by December 10. Share your story and reasons for being a perfect fit for the show (For example, are you here for a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the Queensland Country? Did you meet your partner backpacking and you are back forever? Do you have a job in an iconic country pub?). For story development assistance, contact .

Selected participants will be awarded USD$2000 upon successful audition completion, with filming commencing in January. It’s a chance to feature your journey and highlight Queensland's tourism offerings.
27 December 2023 – 1 January 2024

Experience the exhilaration of the Mort & Co King of the Mountain Horse Race, returning to Clifford Park in Toowoomba, this spectacular race is set to take place from December 27, 2023, to January 1, 2024. Get ready for an unforgettable start to the New Year as Queensland's finest horses and jockeys compete for supremacy. This event is not just a race; it's a celebration of skill, speed, and the spirit of competition, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Toowoomba landscape​​.
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Discover a journey through time at the Miles Historical Village Museum, located just 3.5 hours from Brisbane along the Warrego Highway in Miles. Operating since 1971, this extraordinary museum showcases over 30 authentic buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum, a vision of the Miles & District Historical Society, now includes 34 buildings - a blend of original, replica, and purpose-built structures, forming a captivating pioneer settlement. This not-for-profit museum, passionately run by volunteers, provides a unique glimpse into the life of early Queensland.
Why not make it a memorable weekend adventure with the kids, exploring Australia's rich history in an engaging and interactive way?​​​​
Learn More


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