A Brand New Year in Tourism

WE’RE THE CQH: Emerald Visitor Information Centre (VIC) Coordinator Pamela Gangadoo, Central Highlands Development Corporation Arjan Bloemer and long-time VIC volunteer Carol Ferguson are excited to welcoming in the Districts tourism re-branding. PHOTO: Morgan Burley

A BOLD new initiative is set to rebuild the local travel industry, with the region’s development corporation unveiling its latest marketing campaign last month.
The Central Highlands as a tourism destination was re-branded Central Queensland Highlands in a bid to promote the diverse geographical location.
The Central Highlands Development Corporation’s (CHDC) Tourism Development Coordinator Paul Thompson announced the change at the company’s Tourism and Events Forum in December.
“The brand story overcomes what have been major challenges in promoting the Central Highlands region for a very long time,” he said.
“That is, the name Central Queensland Highlands instantly tells the tourism audience our geographical location and sets us apart form other locations around the world that are called Central Highlands.
“Also, the ‘explore more’ tagline draws into a unifying, core message the many experiences the region has to offer and its direct invitation for visitors to extend their stay.”
The corresponding logo and colour palette are said to reflect the regions diverse landscape and popular locations, such as the Sapphire Gemfields, Carnarvon Gorge and the Blackdown Tableland National Park.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the re-branding would help the district stand out.
“It wont change me saying I’m a central highlander, but I know it will be the Central Queensland Highlands [visitors] remember for the Gemfields, Carnarvon and Blackdowns,” he said.
The initiative is the result of “extensive industry and community collaboration” by CHDC and is the first priority project of the Central Highlands Visitor Economy Strategy 2020-22, also unveiled at the recent Tourism and Events Forum.
“The project has been in the works for many many years, with us [at CHDC] trying to ascertain who and what we are as the Central Highlands,” Mr Thompson said.
“We knew the need [for the re-branding] had been identified for many years, however the budget and consultation process began in the later part of last year.”
Mr Thompson said the brand story would be the heart of all tourism marketing by the CHDC and a toolkit is available for local tourism businesses to incorporate into their own marketing.
“The way tourism is going right now, it is more about the visitor economy… and those coming for work or to visit family and friends,” he said.
“It’s about strength in numbers – if we can all embrace and deliver the same message, its going to make a huge difference in building brand awareness and putting us front-of-mind when people are planning a holiday.
“With many parts of the world still grappling with Covid-19, there’s no sign of our international borders opening.
“This brand story will help step up our game in the thriving – but competitive – domestic tourist market.”