Tourism on the up across Southern Downs

Visitor numbers climb for Southern Downs :

AN INCREASE in tourist numbers is a positive sign ahead of one of Warwick's biggest events of the year.

Visitor numbers in the Warwick Visitor Information Centre have increased by 28%, with 3836 people in total dropping in or phoning the centre, compared with the same period last year.

June itself saw a massive increase of 56%, with 1338 visitors during the month, compared with just 859 last year.

Southern Downs councillor Rod Kelly said the council was excited to see an increase in visitor numbers in the lead up to Jumpers and Jazz.

"The numbers are pleasing and prove that the new location of the Information Centre is working extremely well for our visitors," Cr Kelly said.

"The volunteers at the Centre feel connected and safe in the main street and continue to have great input into the layout and function of the Centre.

"We've recently welcomed a good number of new volunteers in both the Warwick and Stanthorpe VICs. Our volunteers do a stellar job for our visitors, and the whole tourism industry on the Southern Downs and Granite Belt."

The Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre numbers rose by 32 visitors to 6369 this year, compared with the same period last year.

Cr Kelly said Sunday trading in both Warwick and Stanthorpe could see those numbers rise even further.

"The Warwick VIC moved into the Town Hall so these numbers are especially pleasing to see," he said.

"We hope that the move means more people are coming into the centre of town and spending their tourism dollars here.

"We've also seen quite a good spread in the places these people are visiting from in the data we collect at the VIC."

The results come ahead of a tourism forum being held in Stanthorpe on Tuesday.

The forum, hosted at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre from will cover themes for future marketing campaigns, strategies to improve the visitor experience and the business assistance the industry needs from Council's Economic Development Unit.