Outback Queensland Tourism Association is kicking off 2021 at a cracking pace as it gets set to host its sold out Outback Queensland Muster – the first major travel trade event in Queensland since COVID restrictions came into place.
The event will see 60 Outback Queensland tourism operators descend on Brisbane on Monday 22 February ready to share the diverse experiences they have on offer with more than 70 agents from across the south east.
OQTA CEO Denise Brown said the theme of the event was Extending the Season – Reinventing the Reason and will include the launch of its 2021 marketing campaign and an innovative new Outback Queensland Drive Guide.
“Outback Queensland is good to go and we’re leading the way with this event, ramping up marketing activities and putting our world-class Outback Queensland product front and centre with agents,” Ms Brown said.
“We’re excited to be launching OQTA’s 2021 campaign as part of our renewed marketing push to encourage our domestic market to visit different parts of Outback Queensland.
The campaign will include targeted print, digital, outdoor, social media and radio advertising across south east Queensland and travel publications as well as a ‘win a drive holiday’ competitions with partners Apollo Motorhome Holidays and Britz Campervan Rentals.
“Our new Outback Queensland Drive Guide will also be officially launched at the Muster, delivering the ultimate traveller’s handbook that will make planning and booking the ideal Outback Queensland holiday simple,” Ms Brown said.
“The Guide will take the Outback travel experience to the next level using QR codes, that we’ve all come to know so well, alongside all drives providing real ‘live time’ information when scanned,” she said.
Ms Brown said COVID-19 has changed the game for the tourism sector and as more people are heading to Outback Queensland, they’re looking beyond the traditional tourism season and encouraging agents and travellers to discover or revisit the region.
“While you may think you know about or have ‘done’ the Outback, we’ll be showing that there are so many more reasons to repeat visitation to different locations and attractions. We’ll be showcasing new product, as well renewed, refurbished and developed attractions that are all just up the road!”
“Events continue to be a significant drawcard for the region with iconic events fast becoming must-dos on any Outback holiday itinerary including award winning major events like the Big Red Bash in Birdsville or the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo.
“The demand for itinerary planning has continued to increase as more people set out to discover their own backyard.
Last year we had a welcome boost to traveller numbers late in the season as restrictions were lifted. Many people headed to the region for the first time and it was great to see an increasing number of families amongst the crowds. “
“With this demand for Outback Queensland holidays up and local operators ensuring COVID compliance there has never been a more important time to work with a travel agent to make your bookings. It is essential to make sure you are booked in at attractions and have your accommodation reservations in advance. We don’t want anyone to be left disappointed or miss out on the great experiences in Outback Queensland,” Ms Brown said.
Ms Brown said the response to the Muster has been beyond expectation with tickets selling out so quickly that they set a record as the fastest selling tourism event through the Local Tickets platform.
“We’re thrilled to realise that this could have been so much more had we not had to limit our capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. To help meet demand we are looking at other travel agent training opportunities in the coming months.
“We will also be making the most of technology to record training sessions and will make them available to Trade and ultimately make Outback Queensland a destination of choice,” she said.
“Many agents have never sold Outback Queensland product before and this event provides an invaluable opportunity for travel agents to get a first-hand understanding direct from local tourism operators from as far away as Mount Isa, Karumba and Eromanga.
“Feedback from agents has been fantastic. This has opened their eyes to the diversity of experiences available in Outback Queensland – right on our doorstep!
“Agents will be able to include Outback product in their packages. Putting Outback Queensland on the list for many travellers for the first time (in a very long time!).
The Outback Queensland Muster is proudly supported by Tourism and Events Queensland.
Contact: Denise Brown – CEO OQTA
Ph: +61 438 394 492