TOURISM GROWTH: ROOM Motel managers Leiani Buckley and Jonathan Hutchison.
TOURISM GROWTH: ROOM Motel managers Leiani Buckley and Jonathan Hutchison. Tobi Loftus

Motel expands to attract even more weekenders

THERE are plenty of positives to South Burnett tourism, according to at least one Kingaroy motel owner.

ROOM Motel owner Colin Buckley said the business expanded recently because he believed Kingaroy's tourism trade was prospering and still growing.

"That is driven primarily by commercial activities,” Mr Buckley said.

"Last year was very good for the hotel-motel industry, it's been a bit quieter so far this year.

"When the wind farm project gets off the ground that will boost the commercial activity in the region.”

Mr Buckley said his business was driven by weekday trade.

"We have opened for close on four years, the business drivers have always been the Monday to Thursday army, by that I mean commercial and government-based workers,” he said.

When he opened the motel four years ago, weekend business was quite "soft”.

"There is growth to be had in weekend visitors,” he said.

"When we first opened, one out of every four weekends were strong.

"Now it's every two-and-a-half weekends.”

Mr Buckley said growth in the sector relied on accommodation.

"Accommodation has to support weekend activities, especially in Kingaroy as it is further away from the heavier bases,” he said.

"Tourism needs to have that accommodation base.

"There are real opportunities in South Burnett, with wineries, the Bunya Mountains and other areas of attraction.

"They aren't being supported as well as they need to be.

"We work in some other regions that are more vocal about promoting those attractions.

"We'd love to engage in any way possible to promote the unique features the South Burnett has.”

Mr Buckley, who lives outside of Kingaroy but whose niece manages the motel, visited the town over Christmas specifically to see the tourist attractions.

"The town has got a strong heartbeat,” he said.

"There are plenty of things to do and great attractions.

"Even as a business owner, I didn't know there were as many things to do.”

Mr Buckley said the upcoming Wine and Food festival was good for tourism.

"It is a great initiative and similar activities should be supported,” he said.

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