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Industry News

Stay up to date with the latest news from Southern Queensland Country Tourism. 

28 June 2019: Update from Peter Homan


As you may know, SQCT and TDD have this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding and joined forces to move forward with one powerful and unified voice for the region’s tourism industry. The spirit of cooperation was heartening and I’m very keen to see that it flourishes.

A reminder that SQCT Partnerships are now due for renewal – we invite you to work with us to strengthen SQCT’s presence in the market and enjoy the many benefits of partnership  cooperative marketing, publicity, business training and development opportunities to name a few  please see below for further details.    

If you have any queries or comments, please contact the office on 4632 1988 and I look forward to meeting with you when I take up my position early next month.  


Peter Homan, CEO

13 June 2019: Update from Peter Homan

What a great time to be stepping into the role of Chief Executive Officer of Southern Queensland Country Tourism. In the past year alone, international visitor numbers reached a record high and we welcomed two million domestic visitors to this uniquely beautiful destination.

I congratulate Mary-Clare Power on her outstanding achievements during her tenure and thank her for the firm foundations she has left for me to build upon as the incoming CEO.

Having spent five years as CEO of Outback Queensland Tourism Australia, I will bring fresh eyes and a different skill set to my role at SQCT.

I have a can-do attitude and a strong work ethic. I like to list stakeholder engagement amongst my strengths, having successfully partnered with 18 different local governments and many more private operators during my time at OQTA. Together, we increased visitor numbers and developed a cohesive  tourism sector to the benefit of the entire region.

I am passionate about tourism and a strong advocate for the industry. I am proud to have been a driving force behind the State Government’s $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund, announced last year.  This provided much-needed funding of tourism infrastructure in the region.

And my time as a Director on the Tourism Noosa and Tourism Sunshine Coast boards, as well as the 12 years I spent at the helm of the Eumundi Markets on the Sunshine Coast, provided me with a profound appreciation for the industry as a whole as well as the importance of delivering tangible results to front line operators.

Although my feet won’t officially be under the SQCT desk until July 8, my mind has already turned to the exciting and new opportunities that Southern Queensland Country offers.

Digital marketing and artificial intelligence could open new marketing channels while the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, with multiple flights per day, may lead to fresh travel packages for holiday-makers.

Rest assured, however, that my first order of business will be to listen to the operators and partners across the region and hear what they have to say about tourism in Southern Queensland Country.

Every region has its challenges and Southern Queensland Country is no different. We have both short term and long haul drive markets, each requiring a targeted tourism strategy. Then there’s domestic as well as international visitors, each seeking a unique experience.

I look forward to meeting you in person as I move around the region in coming weeks to experience your world-class hospitality and to better familiarise myself with Southern Queensland Country’s spectacular national parks and other natural assets.

By working together, I am confident we can generate powerful growth.

Peter Homan, CEO.

31 May 2019: Update from Monica Groenert


Well, both the temperature and the calendar say it’s winter tomorrow, which means we’re into our busiest tourist season. As you’ve likely heard, we sadly said farewell to our CEO Mary-Clare Power last Friday after 7 years with the organisation.  We sincerely thank her for her friendship, support and leadership and wish her all the best in her future adventures. A new CEO will be announced in the coming weeks.

Dr Jane Summers - Chair, SQCT board & Mary-Clare Power

The 2019/2020 SQCT Partnership Prospectus is being finalised and will be available soon. Partnerships are really important. By working together and having a united approach the stronger and more effective our tourism industry will be and the greater results we can achieve. There are many benefits to partnership, including access to expert marketing and media advice, ATDW subscription, extending your reach via co-operative marketing opportunities such as the SQCT Country Club e-newsletter, seasonal campaigns, inclusion in blogs and social media promotions, and access to business training and development opportunities. We look forward to welcoming back current partners and invite new partners to join us.

A reminder that we would love to see you and hear your updates and ideas at the next Tourism Advisory and Networking Group (TANG) meetings happening in Toowoomba on June 10, in Warwick on June 11 and via teleconference for our Western Country industry on 12 May. The Toowoomba and Warwick TANG meetings will be followed by an Online Marketing for Events workshop – part of the QTIC Digital Ready Program that we’ve been rolling out over the last few months. These workshops are free and conducted by industry experts keen to impart practical and useful tips and advice for improving your event marketing  - highly recommended if you’re involved in event delivery. You’ll find information about registering for the program here

If you have any questions or comments please get in touch via email [email protected] or phone me in the office on 07 4632 1988. 

Ciao for now..  

Monica Groenert, Marketing Manager.

16 May 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power


Isn’t it wonderful to see the beautiful colours of Autumn throughout our region! Our Autumn campaign is in full swing in the marketplace and the results so far are very pleasing. As you know, with Winter approaching we’re entering our peak season and we encourage you all to make the most of the heightened visitor interest moving into this busy time. We pass on our thanks and congratulations to the operators who are partnering with us this season and we will share the highlne results with you when available after the campaign is finished. The roll out of our Digital Workshops continues – it’s pleasing to see a number of operators registering for the entire suite of  workshops – which is the best way to ensure a holistic approach to digital success. However it is also disappointing to see the number of no-shows and last minute cancellations. We understand small businesses are resource poor, but as I often say, you really need to dedicate time to work on your business as well as in your business. I can’t encourage you enough to avail yourselves of these free-of-charge opportunities led by some of the best in the business. Who knows they may not come again. Please take note of the remaining workshops, book-in and please do come along.

On Saturday we’ll be going to the polls voting in the federal election, and as we know elections always bring about some sort of change, whether there’s a change of government or not. Regardless of the outcome this election gives our industry the opportunity to advocate and lobby for increased support for what is a key industry in our state and country. You may be interested in the tourism-related policies and promises of the major parties – there have been some significant promises on both sides, outlined here. It’s heartening to see that tourism is recognised in both major party campaigns as an industry that's integral to the on-going sustainable growth of the Australian economy.

On a final note some of you may have heard that Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, is leaving the organisation in June to take up a new role as CEO and Executive Director of  Experience Co. I’d like to recognise John’s achievements and steady stewardship of TA and thank him for the support he’s given to our region and to me personally.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss tourism in our region, I am always happy to assist.  Call me in the office on 07 4632 1988 or my mobile 0439 321 988. 




26 April 2019: Update from Mary-Clare Power


We are just back from representing our wonderful region and operators at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Perth.  It was a busy and productive sharing of knowledge and development of relationships between tourism sellers and buyers.  We were really pleased to register a growing interest in our region and looking back over the four years we have attended we can clearly see that our SQC brand, region, key experiences and our product are gaining traction.  As well as firming up existing relationships, we met new buyers from a diversity of markets and established some promising new contacts.  There was particularly strong interest from Western Europe and of course we continued our dialogue with South Korea. All buyers were provided with new content (including images, videos and general information) and our expanded list of trade-ready product.  Over the next weeks we will follow-up with relevant agents in terms of additional information they may require.

We welcomed encouraging news for the region on Tuesday with the release of the National Visitor Survey results revealing some positive gains.  For the year ending December 2018, year on year Overnight Visitor Expenditure grew by 17.6% to a record $795.8 million; Domestic Overnight Visitation grew by 12.7% to a record 2.2 million; and Visitor Nights grew by 6.5% to 5.9 million.  Importantly, the three year trend continues to mirror these positive results with Overnight Visitation up 6.1% and Total Nights up 4.9%.

Queensland Tourism Awards nominations opened last week and close on 31 May.  There are some really high achieving benchmark businesses in our region and I encourage you to throw your hat in the ring.   Entering is quite a detailed process and a very valuable business audit exercise and future planning tool – and as Queensland and Australian award winners Carnival of Flowers will attest, for winners and finalists it opens up new marketing opportunities.  Take a serious look at it and if it appeals, do take the time to enter – see below for information on QTIC’s first time entrant seminar – ideal for running you through the process if you’re new to it – and a great refresher if you’ve entered in the past.  Of course we are always here to provide advice.

On a final note, if you get a chance over the weekend, I highly recommend getting along to see some of the action at the Polocrosse World Cup. I went earlier in the week – it’s a superb event and great to see Warwick buzzing with locals and visitors from around the country and the world.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss tourism in our region, I’m always happy to assist. Call me in the office on (07) 4632 1988 or on my mobile 0439 321 988.