Bundaberg Region's Huge Year of Tourism Trade

Against all odds, the Bundaberg region’s tourism industry has established itself as a force to be reckoned with over the past year, with 12 months of tireless tourism trade work culminating in some of our leading operators attending the nation’s top tourism trade event, the Australian Tourism Exchange.

Held in Sydney from 7 – 9 June then virtually until 17 June 2021, the Australian Tourism Exchange, or ATE, is a business-to-business event organised by Tourism Australia which has returned for the first time since 2019. The new hybrid format of in-person and virtual appointments is a major platform from which Bundaberg and the Southern Great Barrier Reef continues to build relationships and do business with hundreds of key buyers domestically and internationally.

Led by Bundaberg Tourism Chief Executive Katherine Reid, the region is being represented by Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience, Lady Musgrave Experience, Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Kellys Beach Resort and new products Villa Mirasol Motor Inn and Splitters Farm.

Katherine Reid said “2020 completely changed the face of the global tourism industry, however the Bundaberg region’s ongoing commitment to developing our travel trade relationships domestically and maintaining our international relationships in spite of current travel challenges has set the region apart as a major regional destination that travel agents and buyers want to do business with.”

“The tourism industry in Bundaberg is a major contributor to our regional economy and thanks to our hard work across the past decade and recent collective perseverance, we have seen considerable growth in domestic visitors to the region in the past 12 months.  By working collectively as Team Bundaberg to increase our investment in tourism trade over the past year and develop new markets from around Australia as well as keeping our international markets warm, the visitor economy will continue to increase our share of voice and visibility in market.”

Duncan Littler, Bundaberg Rum Marketing & Experience Manager, said, “‘We’re excited to be back at ATE once again following a year like no other. It’s been encouraging to see visitation to our region and distillery experience grow as confidence in domestic travel returns.  We need to ensure our vital tourism industry continues to bounce back so it’s important we keep building new and fostering existing relationships with our trade partners and that’s why we’re back at Australia’s largest tourism trade event with a number of other great tourism operators from the Bundaberg region.”

Evelyn Nielsen of Villa Mirasol Motor Inn has been undertaking trade mentoring and development activities through Bundaberg Tourism and the property has received very strong interest from travel trade at ATE, with an impressive 110 appointments lined up across the event schedule.

“The past 15 months have been deeply challenging but we have worked hard to develop new distribution channels for Villa Mirasol Motor Inn and are proud to be one of the newest Southern Great Barrier Reef products at ATE 2021.”

“The Bundaberg region has proven time and again that by staying connected during tough times and choosing positivity, resilience and a willingness to collaborate, the region can and will succeed.  Villa Mirasol Motor Inn looks forward to a long future as part of Team Bundaberg – by working together to market the destination as a whole, we will continue to grow the local tourism industry as visitors continue to discover how fantastic Bundaberg region truly is.”

About Bundaberg Tourism’s Trade Development Program

In the past 12 months, Bundaberg Tourism and the tourism industry have undertaken a broad range of domestic and international trade activities including:

  • Continued investment into the SGBR partnership with the Regional Tourism Organisations in Capricorn and Gladstone to market the SGBR to consumers and travel trade, including running the SGBR Leaders Program with trade development mentoring thanks to the Queensland Government;
  • Engagement of a Project Officer with a strong background in SGBR travel trade distribution and development;
  • The delivery of a Trade Training webinar series with 12 of Bundaberg’s trade-ready operators engaging with more than 400 trade partners world-wide;
  • The delivery of two Trade Training webinars in partnership with Tourism & Events Queensland to Flight Centre and TrailFinders agents in the UK;
  • Attendance at Australian Marketplace Online, where representatives from Bundaberg Tourism, Kellys Beach Resort, Lady Musgrave Experience and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort had one-on-one virtual meetings with travel agents and buyers from Europe and the UK across three nights in November 2020;
  • Attendance at ATEC Southern Queensland Inbound Workshop 2021 in March 2021, consisting of three days of industry updates and presentations followed by B2B appointments with buyers and sellers;
  • A dedicated Bundaberg sales mission with Lady Musgrave Experience and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, and supported by Bundaberg Rum, Villa Mirasol Motor Inn and Kellys Beach Resort, meeting with 120 key contacts across South East Queensland to deliver training and industry updates on the Bundaberg region across a series of appointments and networking functions;
  • Participation in Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist Program webinar in January 2021, in which German-speaking BT and Lady Musgrave Experience representatives gave key product updates to retail travel agents in Germany;
  • Proactive work with retail, online and wholesale travel trade to encourage the development of new itineraries and packages in the Bundaberg and SGBR regions.


Bundaberg at ATE21
BACK: Tika Lay (Lady Musgrave Experience), Genevieve Matthews (Villa Mirasol Motor Inn), Carly Clark (Splitters Farm), Loni Hammond (Bundaberg Tourism / Kellys Beach Resort), Katherine Reid (Bundaberg Tourism)
FRONT: Scott Merrick (Bundaberg Rum)
SGBR At ATE21 Reduced
Southern Great Barrier Reef Delegates at ATE21