Rocky flourishes in 2023/2024 budget

Rocky from Mt Archer Overlook - Rex Boggs. Photo supplied.

As someone who was born and bred here in Rockhampton, I’ve seen firsthand the benefit tourism and visitation brings to our region. I’ve seen it change over time as families in the back of the station wagon are replaced by sporting holidays, caravanning nomads and people enjoying the unique experiences our region has to offer.

I’ve seen our city change and our businesses evolve to cater to these trends and ensure that our region continues to be a popular and enjoyable destination for all.

I am particularly pleased to see newly released figures from the National Visitor Survey show that tourism expenditure in the Rockhampton region is at an all-time high, reporting $416 million, up almost 22 per cent compared to the previous year.

With 582,000 visitors for the year ending March 2023, these figures highlight the remarkable progress we’re making as a regional town and proof we’re the seeing the fruits of our labour.

Our tourism and events calendar has gone from strength to strength over the last five years and we’re also well on our way to reaching the goals set our in our five-year Economic Action Plan, thanks to the efforts of our Advance Rockhampton team. This is why we have made a further commitment to invest in tourism, visitation and events in our 2023/24 Budget.

But this achievement isn’t just about numbers, it’s about the dedication of our local businesses, and those who work in the tourism industry – our hotel operators, restaurants and event organisers and the effort they put into selling their product, which sells our Region.

Tourism breathes life into our local businesses, it creates employment opportunities and whether people are here for sporting events, art exhibitions, our signature events like Rockynats or Beef Australia, or purely to experience our unique regional charm. Our local businesses reap those rewards, so much so, they’re reporting some of their best trading weeks in years.

What’s clear is we’re far from slowing down and I’m confident we will be excelling these achievements year upon year because of the ground work that’s been covered to set ourselves up for this success.

I have never been more excited about the places we will go and what achievements we will be celebrating in the years ahead. Our eyes are firmly set on building upon these triumphs.