Scenic Rim’s popular studios and cultural trails program has been highlighted as a leading example of regional cultural tourism at a high-level industry forum aimed at making Queensland the nation’s top tourist destination.
Queensland Arts Minister Ian Walker singled out the success of the Scenic Rim Region Council initiative during a presentation on cultural tourism at the DestinationQ forum on the Gold Coast.
Minister Walker identified “art trails including the Scenic Rim’s Open Studios program and the Southern Downs’ Handmade in Country initiatives” as a natural fit for cultural tourists alongside fixtures such as the Queensland Music Festival, the Woodford Folk Festival and Australian Festival of Chamber Music.
Mayor John Brent said the Minister’s remarks were an acknowledgement of the success of the event, with the studios and cultural trails program going from strength to strength since it was first established in 2008.
“It also a recognition of the hard work of Council staff and event participants have put into building this event to a point where it is attracting attention not only from visitors, but at the highest levels of the tourism industry,” Cr Brent said.
The 2013 Cultural Trails of the Scenic Rim Studios and Events Guide was launched by Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey in March, while the 2012 guide was unveiled by Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley.
“Our Scenic Rim communities are home to many talented artisans who make an important contribution to the social fabric of region,” Cr Brent said.
“This year, 86 artists participated in the cultural trails and studios event at 24 locations across five weekends in May and June.”
“The event guide itself also provided cultural tourists with a treasure trove of year-round information on country markets, agricultural shows and rodeos, accommodation, dining, tours and a whole lot more, allowing them to learn, grow and engage with the region and all it has to offer.”