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Warm welcome to tourist season

The friendly team at the frontline of the Central Highlands tourism industry is ready to roll out the welcome mat for the 2016 season.

Extended operating hours at the region’s accredited Visitor Information Centre (VIC), next to Emerald’s Sunflower painting, begin on Saturday, 6 March and run until 29 October.

The VIC recorded 22,845 guests in 2015, a 13 percent increase on the previous year, and the expectation is 2016 will be even better.

“We’ve been working hard to ensure we’re up-to-date on what’s on offer for 2016,” VIC Coordinator Sally Roberts says.

“We’re usually visitors’ first port-of-call so it’s important that we give them a warm welcome and that we help them get the most out of their stay.”

The season’s operating hours are Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm; Saturdays 10:00am – 4:00pm; Sundays 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Located on Clermont Street, the VIC offers free Wi-Fi, cold and hot refreshments, and an array of locally-made, top-quality souvenirs.

The VIC is staffed by two Coordinators, two casual employees and 12 volunteers, and is administered by the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC). New volunteers are welcome.

“We pride ourselves on being a team of friendly faces with a wealth of local information, from where to stay and where to play, to more practical advice such as dump point locations and road closures,” Ms Roberts says.

“On the flip side, this time of year is very rewarding for us because we get to meet so many people from all walks of life from across Australia and overseas.”

Other Information Centres in the Central Highlands are located at Blackwater, Springsure and Duaringa.
A range of projects in the past two years, including a major tourism marketing strategy, has helped to increase visitation to the VICs and more broadly, the Central Highlands.

“We’ve been working hard to really define the Central Highlands’ reputation as a must-see destination,” Tourism Development Officer Peter Grigg says.

“Our local efforts are being shored up by the low Australian dollar and the rapid increase of grey nomad numbers – the Central Highlands’ key market.”

Other projects in the works include the 101 Things to Do and See in our Sandstone Wilderness and Sapphire Country brochure, three day-tours, and the formation of the Central Highlands Tourism Alliance.

For more information on what the Central Highlands has to offer, visit www.centralhighlands.com.au or call the VIC on (07) 4982 4142.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Nicky Fisher on 0414 360 697 or mediaevents@chdc.com.au for further information.

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