Agritourism set to be ‘powerful force’ to draw visitors
ELEVEN busloads of tourists will visit Proserpine this weekend in what the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce hopes will be the beginning of a boom in agritourism.
Tourists from the incoming Viking cruise ship will be transported to Proserpine on Sunday to visit cane farms, the Proserpine Museum and the main shopping precinct.
Proserpine Chamber of Commerce president Bob Bogie said he hoped providing tourists with an interactive insight into the agricultural areas of the region would act as a catalyst for further tourism opportunities.
"What I'm trying to do is to develop an agritourism type tourism in the area, in other words, where agriculture and tourism work together," he said.
"Agritourism has a future because people want an experience, not just to see things.
"They want to touch and feel, know the people and see what's going on rather than just observing from a distance.
"It ties in with the experience type of tourism. People who come to a place want to be immersed in the place and find out what people do."
Mr Bogie said if the "two pillars" of tourism and agriculture that define the region worked together they would create "a very powerful force going forward".
More than 500 people are expected to visit Proserpine on Sunday with buses arriving in the town from 9am and leaving by 1pm.
Mr Bogie also hopes the incoming tourists will inject money into the local economy during their visit.
"I'm hoping if you give them the opportunity that there will be some spending," he said.
"And if they spend in a regional community like Proserpine, the money generated by one shop gets spent elsewhere in the economy.
"The man who they bought the newspaper from can then go buy himself a coffee in the local cafe."
This is the second of three scheduled visits to Proserpine for tourists aboard Viking cruises, with the next excursion scheduled for March 2020.
The excursions for Viking Cruises were driven by the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce, who Mr Bogie said were always welcoming new members to help formulate and implement their programs.