Tourism on the rise as Big Rig increases operating hours
TOURISM has flourished in the Maranoa over the past couple of years and visitors have been flocking to learn more about Roma’s rich natural gas history.
The Big Rig Night Show and Sunset Experience has played an influential part in attracting visitors to our region, increasing its revenue by over 100 per cent from 2017 to 2019.
With attraction revenue rapidly increasing from $33,686 in 2017 to $68,608 in 2019 and a projected revenue of $95,621 in 2020, Maranoa Regional Council voted 8-0 in support of increasing its operating hours in the council meeting last Wednesday.
The show will now run each week night (Monday to Friday) between April 1 and October 31, instead of the three nights a week it had been running in previous years.
Portfolio Chair for Tourism and Arts Community Safety, Puddy Chandler said the Big Rig tourism team are to thank for their tireless efforts in increasing visitor numbers.
“They have been working hard on all things tourism,” Cr Chandler said.
“The tour guide who comes in the evening to do the tours of the old Big Rig is just fantastic and he tells some wonderful stories.
“Last year we got a new big screen for the night show and that’s also become really popular, which I think has played a part in increasing numbers.”
By increasing the Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience to each weeknight, this will generate an additional 2660 visitors to the attraction annually.
The increased operating hours will also enable more consistent marketing of the attraction.
Cr Chandler said it was an easy decision to make in the council meeting to support the increase of the Big Rig’s operating hours, as the numbers spoke for themselves.
“It’s great to see that the attraction has been steadily increasing in numbers and we’re seeing our community reap the benefits,” she said.
Local accommodation operators, restaurants and cafes and tour operators are also likely to benefit, with increased operating hours injecting more money into the community through increased overnight stays and other purchases.
As revenue and capacity increases, the ideal aim will be to operate The Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience seven nights a week during peak visitation.