The Big Rig project
The Big Rig project

Maranoa community leaders weigh in on borders opening

MANY Australians are keen to cross in and out of Queensland after the announcement that the state will let back in residents from Sydney and Victoria, but Roma Commerce and Tourism (RCAT) leaders don’t think the Maranoa should hold its breath for more tourists.

RCAT president and Roma Central Motel owner Charlie Eames said summer periods aren’t the big tourism time for Roma, mainly due to the heat.

But those travelling interstate or further north may still provide a boost to Roma’s economy during this time.

“Traditionally, this time of the year right through to end of January, Roma picks up a few one-nighters,” Mr Eames said.

“They’re only one night on the way to somewhere.

“Corporate-wise, and business-wise… we’ll get a little more of them because they’ve been restricted and haven’t been able to travel.”

Mr Eames estimates that there is typically 400 beds per night available in Roma, meaning there’s plenty of opportunities for passers-by to stay.

And despite the fact that Roma may not be a big summer tourism hub, the one-nighters travelling through provide a necessary boost to the town’s economy, which would have been detrimental if the borders remained closed.

He said that $1 spent in tourism leads to $3 being spent in the town’s economy, which is why it’s important to think about luring in travellers.

And ultimately, Roma could have it’s biggest tourism year in a long time next year, as long as there’s continued surety with the border situation.

RCAT Vice-President and Roma Pet World owner Cyril Peet believes most tourists won’t come from interstate, but rather along the Queensland coast.

“Christmas coming up, there’ll be a lot of travellers,” Mr Peet said.

“We want to get out of the cities and the country is definitely on the agenda.”

But he doesn’t believe the change in the border situation is going to make much of a difference to local businesses and tourism.

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