The Bunya Mountains are one of the top tourism destinations in our region.
The Bunya Mountains are one of the top tourism destinations in our region. Jenny Munro

Dalby discusses tourism ideas

IMAGINE if all of the tourist information on Dalby and the local surrounds was accessible at the click of a button on one handy smartphone app?

That was one of the great ideas that came out of a planning session last week to look bring some new ideas to tourism.

There are some serious dollars behind this initiative - $1.4m over three years from Western Downs Regional Council and APLNG.

The money will be spread across six major districts within the council: Dalby, Chinchilla, Tara, Jandowae, Miles, Wandoan.

In the Dalby session, a tourist phone app, a plan to promote the Great Artesian Basin and improved signage were the main ideas that came out.

Facilitator Nigel Russell led a session of about 20 stakeholders saying this project was a great opportunity to cement tourism in the economy, attract more visitors and make them stay longer.

"This is a great opportunity to grow tourism in the Western Downs," Mr Russell said.

"We are looking for projects that will make a difference to Dalby and surrounding areas.

"We want people to stay longer and spend more money in the town."

Mr Russell said that meant looking at natural attractions in the region as well as what makes Dalby a good place to live and work.

Mr Russell walked the session through Dalby's tourism strengths and weaknesses before coming up with a list of projects that could potentially attract funding from the $1.4 million initiative.

There was a consensus that there were already many tourism attractions for tourists, but the public information was scant and dispersed.

The idea of a free downloadable app of information on Dalby and surrounds was the most popular response followed by a plan to advertise Dalby as the most easterly point of the Great Artesian Basin and better entrance signage to town.

There was much talk about taking advantage of Dalby's agricultural and gas infrastructure by promoting industry tours and farm homestays.

Event tourism was also discussed with attractions such as the Stock Horse Sale and Delicious and Delightful though the lack of volunteers to run festivals was also raised.

The meeting canvassed a Dalby ambassador program to help spread the word.

Mr Russell said the ideas would be collected from all six districts and there would be further community consultation in the new year.

Let us know how you think tourism in Dalby could be improved.

What are our best and worst attributes? What could be done to make people stay longer?

Email us at editorial@ dalbyherald.com.au or join the conversation on Facebook by liking Dalby Newspapers.

Top 10 tourism ideas

1. Dalby phone app

2. Promote Great Artesian Basin

3. Better signage

4. More farmstays, industry tours

5. Promote Bunyas, Lake Broadwater

6. Secret fishing holes

7. Open showgrounds for camping

8. Tourism ambassadors

9. Event tourism

10. Connection to Wellcamp Airport


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