2 Mackay Region The Mackay region offers an abundance of natural attractions including national parks, gorges, the Great Barrier Reef, numerous islands and unspoilt beaches. The hinterland offers rich cultural heritage, friendly bush towns and a booming resources sector based on vast seams of export coal. Mackay itself is a relaxed tropical city and regional service centre, expanding rapidly on the back of a buoyant regional economy. In 2016 the Mackay region will be: A community that values its range of leisure experiences and the contribution these experiences make to the liveability and visitor appeal of the region. Framework for Success This Destination Tourism Strategy provides the framework to guide tourism industry development in the Mackay region by coordinating stakeholders in a common direction to maximise the tourism potential of the destination so as to achieve a balance of economic, social and environmental outcomes. For the Mackay region to achieve its aspiration for 2016 it is critical that there is: a coordinated approach to destination Marketing and Promotion; innovative Product and Infrastructure Development across the region that delivers on the destination aspiration; and a tourism industry that is operating at the highest standards of service, safety and sustainability through effective Industry Development programs MACKAY Brisbane
3 Key strategies that will drive sustainable destination growth to 2016 are outlined below. Target Markets All tourism development and promotional activity is based on consumer needs. The following target markets for the Mackay region include the current targets and those identified for development in order to achieve the region s long term potential. Tier One: Connectors in Brisbane and Regional Queensland (400km radius of Mackay) Tier Two: Social Fun-seekers in Sydney and Melbourne United Kingdom Tier Three: New Zealand and Europe New and Developing: China ¹ Domestic target markets are based on Tourism Queensland s Domestic Consumer Segmentation Model adopted in 2008 Domestic Market Consumer Segmentation ¹ Connectors Connectors see holidays as a chance to connect with the people they care most about. They will often subordinate their own preferences in terms of activities to ensure everyone has a good time. Social Fun-seekers For this market, the essence of a holiday is having a fun time. While they do a lot of different activities, it is sharing the experience with friends and other holiday makers that makes the difference. Marketing and Promotion The Mackay region will be collectively promoted under the creative framework of Brand Queensland a strategy that ensures Queensland s destinations and experiences are positioned in a way that focuses on competitive advantages and connects with visitors. A cornerstone of the Brand Queensland strategy is four key experience themes: Queensland Lifestyle; Natural Encounters; Adventure; and Islands and Beaches. Mackay region will be showcased via all four experience themes Raise awareness and appeal of the Mackay region as a leisure and business events destination by promoting it strengths and attributes in key market segments. Improve availability, visibility, bookability, quality and range of destination products and information through tourism and business networks and digital marketing. Bid for and host new state, national and international sporting, cultural and business events, and expand existing events. Reinvigorate the Mackay region s role within the repositioning of the Great Barrier Reef (both domestically and internationally) through the implementation of the Great Barrier Reef project. Capitalise on the visiting friends and relatives opportunities from the fast growing population base.
4 Product and Infrastructure Development Grow destination appeal and deliver on the destination aspiration through the development of innovative tourism projects, including the Catalyst Projects identified in the Mackay Tourism Opportunity Plan: Mackay Riverfront Tourism Precinct Development Eungella Edge Eco-lodge and Visitor Centre Mackay Region Mining Trail Mackay Regional Industry Showcase Focus on developing hinterland tourism products to take advantage of the unique ecosystems and natural attractions. Foster new product development in the Mackay region in recognition of the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef project. Industry Development Build the reputation of the destination for delivering quality product and service standards through industry development programs, such as: domestic and international ready, better business practice, service delivery, digital ready, and crisis management. Establish the Mackay region as a leading sustainable tourism destination through focused sustainability and climate change programs. Deliver world class marine tourism experiences in accordance with the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef project through specific skills and training programs. Work with local government and industry to further develop community spirit and appreciation of the area and engagement of stakeholders. Current Trends A strong exchange rate and access to low cost air travel is making it easier for Australians to travel overseas. People are striving to achieve an emotional or personal achievement on their holidays; therefore, Queensland needs to differentiate their holidays by providing experiences that fulfil that desire. Australia is an expensive holiday destination relative to many of its key competitors and therefore needs to focus on competing on providing quality experiences and service and not on price. There is a trend for shorter holidays with shorter booking lead times. Opportunities for Growth The following opportunities will need to be progressed for the Mackay region to achieve its aspiration for 2016: Position the Mackay region as a key business tourism centre with related leisure based activities. Maximise the potential flow on benefits for tourism from resource sector growth and respond to new experience segments. Plan for seasonal and extreme weather patterns. Grow air access and improve ground transport options. Increased capacity in hotel, resort and tourist park accommodation will enable current demand and future growth to be accommodated and address the competition between leisure and business visitors for available hotel/motel rooms. Attract and facilitate ongoing investment in product development. Ensure community and service infrastructure requirements keep pace with a growing population so as to support sustainable tourism growth. Address the limited supply of both skilled and unskilled staff. Assist industry in areas of domestic market readiness, customer service, online marketing, and sustainability of operations. Gain wider community appreciation of the true value of tourism to the local economy, social development and environmental sustainability. Foster stronger stakeholder marketing plan and campaign alignment.
5 Why Tourism? Tourism is part of the broader economic structure in the Mackay region and makes a significant contribution to the sustainable development and diversification of the regional economy and community. In year end 30 September 2011 ², the Mackay region was host to: 580,000 domestic overnight visitors; 42,000 international visitors; and 940,000 day trip visitors This visitation in turn makes a significant contribution to the Mackay regional economy with ³: 3,400 jobs in the Mackay region directly supported by tourism; and tourism in the Mackay region contributing $261 million to the Queensland economy (For more detail and current information visit tq.com.au/destinations) ² Source: Tourism Queensland (2011) Mackay Regional Snapshot, year ended September ³ Source: Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (2010) Regional Economic Contribution of Tourism Destinations in Queensland. (This most recent data came out of a major research study which produced the first set of estimates of tourism s economic contribution at the destination level.) The Destination Tourism Strategy will be used as the reference point for: encouraging stronger linkages and coordination across all levels of government to ensure tourism needs are addressed in policy, statutory plans and processes and infrastructure development; stimulating leadership within the private sector to foster growth, quality, innovation and sustainable tourism businesses across the Mackay region; and promoting the value of tourism and economic benefits to encourage community support for sustainable tourism growth Implementation The Mackay Destination Tourism Strategy, in articulating the agreed tourism direction for the destination, provides the strategic platform for: guiding Tourism Queensland s, Mackay Tourism s and other stakeholders individual planning and activities; and fostering the efficient, effective and coordinated use of resources to grow sustainable tourism development in the Mackay region to 2016 Tourism Queensland and Mackay Tourism working in partnership, will be the key influencers in prioritising and advocating initiatives and actions to achieve the intent of the Mackay region Destination Tourism Strategy. Together, both organisations will work closely with Local Government, key State Government and Federal Government agencies and the tourism industry throughout the region in pursuing the direction outlined in this strategy. Reference and Supporting Material The Destination Tourism Strategy is available online through the Tourism Queensland and Mackay Tourism websites tq.com.au and mackayregion.com A wide range of reports, plans, data and other information used to compile this Destination Tourism Strategy and critical to its implementation is also available on Tourism Queensland s website.