Regions team up to shout about best kept tourism secret
THE Gladstone region will go on show as part of a new tourism campaign to lure more travellers to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
It's the first time Gladstone, Bundaberg and the Capricorn region have teamed up to promote the area.
At the launch on Thursday, Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the campaign would finally mean the region was no longer the state's "best-kept secret".
"Despite being so close to Brisbane, many south-east Queenslanders are unaware you can literally stay on the reef during a visit to the region, (and) wake up and snorkel directly off the shore," she said.
"There is so much that is great about this region from the people to the produce and of course it's the southern gateway to the world's great natural wonder - the Great Barrier Reef."
The campaign is titled Where Great Begins, with TV, print, radio, online and outdoor ads from now until June 30.
It follows the launch of 360-degree virtual tours on GAPDL's website earlier this week.
Developed by Tourism and Events Queensland, the virtual tours offer a spectacular digital taste-test of the Gladstone region.
GAPDL project officer for digital and social media, Melissa Dahtler, said the panoramic images of Lady Musgrave and Agnes Water allowed people to explore without even leaving their lounge room.
"You can see still images all the time, but this way you can see exactly where you would be and what you will be looking at," she said.
Dahtler said such initiatives were imperative in the digital age of the internet and Facebook.
"People are using computers and Facebook and any social media to see what they are getting into before they even book," she said.
"The ability to reach people through these platforms, well you couldn't even put a price value on that."
Ms Dahlter said the digital tours would pick up tourism interest to the Gladstone region.
"But converting interest into bookings is another story," she said.
Attention for the region could also go global this year, with Tourism Australia's Best Jobs in the World international competition.
Three finalists, from Hong Kong, France and Scotland, are vying for the year-long park ranger job in Queensland.