It’s a heritage-listed town at the gateway to four beautiful National Parks and within one hour of a major city. At peak times, between 3000-5000 vehicles travel through Braidwood each day, yet the town and its surrounds have no official tourism plan.
In recognition of the clear tourist potential of the whole Queanbeyan-Palerang region, the council has developed a tourism strategy for the area.
The need for a unifying vision for the area became apparent after the amalgamation of the Queanbeyan and Palerang local councils, says QPRC manager of economic development and business liaison, Martin Darcy.
“It became quite clear that there was an appetite and a desire to conduct some strategic tourism planning,” Mr Darcy said.
The plan, which was endorsed at a council meeting on April 26, focuses on developing the role of tourism in QPRC’s economy. Three strategic themes underpin the plan: meet the makers, the great outdoors, and revitalising places.
“Braidwood is on the doorstep of a lot of national parks, so I think we really need to enhance that,” Mr Darcy said. The plan looks to develop QPRC as a cycling destination, building on existing infrastructure such as the Molonglo Rail Trail.
A key initiative of the plan will be to develop existing visitor services and information. A multiplicity of websites and inconsistent delivery of visitor services can mean tourists in the region are hard-put to find information. The plan seeks to develop targeted information and marketing.
The Braidwood and Villages Tourism Association welcomed the interest that QPRC had shown in Braidwood as a tourist destination, and was pleased to see the development of a significant tourism plan and policy for the new shire, said Tourism Association president Alex Rea.
“One of the benefits of a larger local government area is access to larger regional tourism networks and joint marketing. [The Association] looks forward to working with the council to make this happen,” Ms Rea said.
The plan will be placed on public display on the QPRC website, and at the Braidwood Library for 28 days.