A GROUP of concerned Bribie Island tourism businesses and other operators have formed an action group to bring some focus back to promoting Bribie Island tourism and encouraging more visitors to return to the island.
The Tourism Action Group encompasses a core group of businesses including Max and Liz Young from 24at - Bribie Island Fun Hire and Adventure Tours, Tony and Joy Bristol from The Gums Anchorage, Ian and Hilary Mockridge from Sylvan Beach Resort and Colleen Ogilvie (who is a strong advocate for a long-term solution to sand erosion problems), as well as a group of supporters and other businesses who care about the future of the island.
The group has met on a regular basis to discuss what could be undertaken to put Bribie back on the map as a serious tourist destination. A number of issues have included better signage on the Bruce Hwy, beach restoration, introducing festivals, improving facilities and seeking advertising assistance from the council and State Government.
As one of many tourism operators on the island, Ms Young said Bribie was a beautiful location with plenty to offer potential visitors.
She said the idea for the group came about because they felt something needed to be done to give tourism a bigger push on the island.
"We're just trying to get that focus on tourism put across because not all the businesses rely solely on tourism but we do," Ms Young said.
"We were talking about things like better signage on the Bruce Hwy - nothing really says much about Bribie to bring people down the road.
"This is a place that is perfect for families, it has safe swimming for kids and it takes you back to appreciating nature again, but we need that holiday feeling again where people can escape to from the city or country for a day or overnight."
The group elected a representative to join the Bribie Island Chamber of Commerce to channel their tourism focus - Ms Bristol was elected to the chamber at their last annual general meeting.
Ms Bristol believes not enough people know about Bribie Island and what it has to offer.
"We hear people say, 'we used to go to Bribie as a kid, but haven't been for years' and we want to get those people back as well as attracting new visitors, and we'd like people to know about us," she said.
"We're looking for better signage on the highway so people know where we are."
Ms Bristol said she had looked at the possibility of bus wraps for advertising but it was an expensive exercise.
"It would be great to get some government support as a group, but we need to go through the right channels to do these things and that's why I've joined the chamber. Hopefully our commitment will assist us to becoming more effective in achieving our goals." she said.
"We're working hard, a few of us have combined our resources for advertising, deals and special offers.
"Bribie is the best kept secret but it shouldn't be. We would love help in promoting Bribie."
For Tourism Action Group information, phone Ms Bristol on 34085200.