Warwick forgotten on Planet guide
SOME people say all publicity is good publicity, but when it comes to the latest edition of the Lonely Planet travel guide for Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, the Rose City doesn’t feel too upset about being left out altogether.
Travel writers have interviewed local movers and shakers about the upcoming Jumpers and Jazz for a chapter on quirky festivals, but the Lonely Planet’s PR person said there was nothing about Warwick in this latest edition, though the Granite Belt received good coverage.
However, reading comments the tourist guide makes about Gympie, (“Gympie’s gold once saved Queensland from near-bankruptcy, but that was in the 1860s and not much has happened since”) Bundy, (“This old-fashioned country town feels stuck in a centuries-old time warp and nothing much seems to happen here”) and Surfer’s Paradise, (“The brash commercialism and relentless pace won’t appeal to everyone”) Warwick Tourism and Events chief executive Tracey Vellacott wondered whether it was better to fall off the Lonely Planet radar completely than to receive such a scathing critique.
“Someone said to me, we are a community that under promises, but over delivers,” she said.
“And that’s true.
“We aren’t the kind of place that claims to be five-star, but in fact delivers only three.”
In recent weeks, Warwick has scooped prizes for Queensland’s best four-star B and B, second-best patisserie in Australia and second-best fishing spot in Queensland – so for Ms Vellacott there’s no doubting the drawcards on the doorstep.
“Warwick doesn’t look for accolades,” she said.
“We know what we have here.
“There is no song and dance about us being the centre of the universe.”
Stanthorpe and Ballandean received favourable coverage in the latest edition, as “the heart of Queensland’s wine country and the lush countryside is dotted with apple, pear, plum and peach trees, cosy cottages and boutique wineries”.
Marketing director of Granite Belt Wine and Tourism Anissa Williams said the organisation was elated with the coverage.
“It is a very positive step towards establishing the Granite Belt in interstate and international markets,” she said.
What Lonely Planet Queensland & the Great Barrier Reef says about…
Brisbane: “With a great cafe scene, sprawling food markets and riverside restaurants serving temptations from every corner of the globe, Brisbane is redefining itself as a foodie destination”.
Cairns CBD: “A mini urban jungle of tour shops, booking agents, car-hire agents and internet cafes”.
Fraser Island: “Marred by an ever-increasing volume of 4WD traffic tearing down the beach and along sandy inland tracks”.