Destination marketing of Kuranda by Council through Tourism Kuranda has finished its 20 long year stint after the levy used to support and fund the program was stopped at the recent Mareeba Shire Council (MSC) meeting after the majority of levy payers voted against it’s continuation.
Council established a business unit over 20 years ago to market Kuranda as a tourist destination at the request of the then Chamber of Commerce, subsequently an advisory committee was set up to help direct the project.
The advisory committee was made up of industry and marketing experts with years of experience behind them and local operator representatives as marketing is not a core skill within local government.
The sole focus of Tourism Kuranda was to promote Kuranda as a tourist destination and was instrumental in organising a range of events and marketing activities to attract visitors to the region.
Advertising, social media and digital marketing campaigns and promoting Kuranda at industry and trade events were just some of the methods used to promote the tourist destination.
The levy was set up to help fund the marketing projects required to advertise Kuranda as a tourist destination.
Commercial rate payers in Kuranda were asked to pay this levy as the advertising would bring tourists to the town and spend money in their shops.
The decision was made to dismantle the levy that supplied the program after a ballot clearly showed that commercial rate payers in Kuranda did not see the benefit of the levy at this point in time.
MSC Mayor Angela Toppin and the rest of the councillors deeply regret Tourism Kuranda dismantling but have stated that they will review the levy at the behest of Kuranda locals if needed.
“The balance of this year’s Tourism Kuranda budget will now be expended in promoting to visit Kuranda and spend your money here, this will last until the remaining funds expire,” she said.
“One of the things that council is doing is having talks with Tropical Tourism North Queensland about the marketing of Far North Queensland as a whole, which will include Kuranda.
“Given that a lot of the domestic market will be unable to go overseas we hope that locals will be more inclined to spend more time exploring their local areas like Kuranda.”
Council has stated that they are very appreciative of the time and effort provided by voluntary committee members over the years and that the program has certainly benefitted from their collective wisdom, insights and strategic focus.