The Outback Mates Program is well and truly underway here at the Charleville Visitor Information Centre, with the three-year program recently receiving an injection of funding from the State Government.
The program, which is part of Outback Queensland – Live Australia’s Story – is run in 23 information centres across the region and will provide tourists with maps, brochures, local knowledge and insider’s tips.
Jane Morgan, Manager of the Cosmos Centre, says it’s pleasing to see the government taking an interest in boosting regional and rural tourism.
“I think that everyone is finally recognized the importance of tourism, especially in the outback. Outback towns are in drought situations, there is no cash money floating around, the only cash money that comes in is by the visitors who drive into town, and so it is vital to our economy that tourism remains strong.”
The program is aimed at creating personal ties with all the visitors to the region, where they are provided with a ‘passport’ which gets stamped at all of the different visitor information centres they visit.
“So they get to experience things, we get to talk to them – because there are so many things to do here in Charleville – and they become a part of the family of the outback which is lovely,” says Jane.
According to Jane, being a part of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association is vital for every business, because it makes your money go further.
“We’ve all got limited money, limited spending budgets, but if we all put our money together and pool it, we get a much bigger splash and it really works.
The September school holidays are set to be a busy one for Charleville, and Jane says attracting families to the region is important.
“The beautiful thing about families is that they come two or three times. And about two or three years ago we realized that when families have a child in year 12, they realise that it’s time for a family holiday,”
“So a lot of them are doing the last, big, great family holiday and they’re choosing to come outback,” she says.
For more information regarding the Outback Mates program or how you can get involved, head to the website: http://www.outbackqueensland.com.au/outback-mates/