Snow chance: ‘It’s well within realms of possibility’
THE Granite Belt's tourism industry is in desperate need of a boost to find its feet again.
Mother Nature has battered the region with a myriad of disasters that have negatively impacted tourism but there's one weather phenomenon that could turn it all around - snow and lots of it.
Shane Kennedy from the Bureau of Meteorology said there was a higher probability of snow this year than in preceding years.
"Compared to the last couple of years, it's more likely," Mr Kennedy said.
"In terms of the moisture and something falling out of the sky, there's a higher chance."
A small amount of snow landed on the outer areas of the Granite Belt last year, but nothing compared to 2015.
Stanthorpe was turned into a winter wonderland that year, with tourists from all over the country flocking to town.
"One limitation is often our coldest temperatures come from big southerly bursts, which tend to be fairly dry," Mr Kennedy said.
"But, it's certainly well within the realms of possibility this year."
Granite Belt Wine and Tourism president Martin Cooper said snowfall would revitalise the region.
"We've got so many people on a list that have said if we get snow to ring them and they'll drive out straight away from Brisbane and the Gold Coast," he said.
"It'd be a huge boost and huge shot in the arm.
"Anecdotally, I've heard, when Stanthorpe had the good snowfall in 2015, the Stanthorpe McDonalds was the busiest in the country.
"In terms of tourism and visitation, I reckon we'd almost have traffic jams with the amount of people coming out.
"If you ask people what the single best thing that could happen for tourism and visitation is, I think nine out of 10 would say 'let it snow'," Mr Cooper said.
With or without it, Mr Cooper said there had already been a positive shift, with more accommodation bookings coming in.
He has noticed it at his Ridgemill Estate winery.
"I know our accommodation is solidly booked Friday to Sunday going forward when they relax restrictions on June 12," he said.
"We've just had madness on the phones."