Speech The Hon Bob Baldwin, MP. 25 July 2007
I am delighted to be here today to open the Bundaberg Distillery Tourist Centre. The Bundaberg name is synonymous with quality product and this tourist centre is a natural extension of the brand that is so well know across Australia. The Bundaberg Distillery history is a fascinating one. In 1888 a group of sugar millers saw an opportunity to produce rum using the molasses that was a by product of sugar refining.
They realised there was strength in numbers and got together to become the Bundaberg Distillery Company. Since it was first produced in 1888, Bundaberg Rum has grown into a multi-million bottle business providing employment and investment in regional Queensland. The distillery itself has become a major tourist attraction, drawing more than 70,000 visitors from Australia and overseas.
I must say the distillery is a very good example of the types of attraction that are increasingly extending tourism beyond metro areas into regional rural Australia. With tourist numbers constantly growing, the distillery undertook a major refurbishment of the visitor centre and aims to double the number of tourists visiting the Bundaberg distillery within the next few years.
So here we are at the quite magnificent Bundaberg Rum Distillery Tourist Centre which now houses a bar offering complimentary tastings of Bundaberg Rum products as well as a museum of Bundaberg Rum paraphernalia including a collection of original bottle labels. We also have a unique store selling official Bundaberg Rum merchandise and a range of locallyproduced giftware and gourmet produce including confectionary, ice cream, jams and sauces made with Bundaberg Rum. I think it is significant that the store sells produce from the region because it encapsulates the philosophy that this distillery is very much a part of the regional economy.
By extending its scope beyond its own product, the centre is serving as a support for other tourist attractions and local producers. And attracting tourists to the region, and providing facilities and attractions when they are here, is all important. Tourism is a vitally important contributor to regional Australia. It is obvious to everyone here that tourism can provide communities with a sustainable economic base that complements and supports traditional industries in regional areas.
This centre is doing precisely that. The Australian Government is committed to tourism in this country. And this commitment has produced results. In the year ending March 2007, tourism brought more than $33 billion into regional Australia. This has been reflected in the Bundaberg region which has experienced an increase in the number of domestic overnight trips and number of international visitors.
In the year ending March 31, 2007:
* There were 551,000 domestic overnight trips to the Bundaberg region, an increase of 10.6 per cent compared to 498,000 in the year ending 31 March 2006;
* Visitors to the Bundaberg region accounted for 0.7 per cent of total domestic overnight visitors in Australia over this period;
Australian Tourism Development Program
But we want this trend to continue and the Australian Government is supporting growth in regional Australia. The recent Federal Budget committed an additional $34.9 million over four years to extend and enhance the Australian Tourism Development Program (ATDP). The Extended Australian Tourism Development Program includes $5 million in each of 2007-08 and 2008-09 to provide additional assistance in drought affected areas by funding tourism projects that stimulate, diversify or enhance the region's economic base.
My colleague, Tourism Minister Fran Bailey, recently announced successful applications from Round 4 of the Australian Tourism Development Program which awarded $4.6 million to 27 projects across Australia. This means that since it started, the Australian Tourism Development Program has funded 156 projects worth $26.2 million.
This program has helped provide tourists with something they want ― diversity. It is important for a destination to offer a variety of tourism products and experiences to visitors. By doing this, you ensure they stay longer, spend more, and travel further into your regional areas. The Bundaberg region is a leader in this respect. In addition to this great facility, I would like to commend the development of new and unique tourism experiences here in Bundaberg including the Turtle Interpretive Centre and the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.
Both will be drawcards to new and repeat visitors to this region.
The Australian Government recognises that building great attractions is not enough…we have to tell Australians and the world that they are here. And we have a very efficient body driving this marketing ― Tourism Australia.
To help achieve our aims of attracting more tourists, the recent Budget also allocated additional and ongoing funding of $46.4 million a year from 2008-09, over and above TA's base level funding. This will further support the marketing of Australian tourism products and destinations.
If you want to see some of what is being done, I recommend you have a look at Tourism Australia's new look travel website www.australia.com
The site is a gateway to more than 60 international and domestic websites ― targeting web savvy travellers who are planning and booking their travel online.
Clearly the Australian Government is working with you, the industry, to ensure tourism continuers to grow and continues to support regional economies.
And initiatives like this centre give us plenty to boast about when targeting prospective tourists.
I congratulate the Bundaberg Distillery on the centre and I wish it every success ― and lots of visitors.
|Bottle and Label Archive|
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|Master Distillers Collection|
|Bundaberg Rum Showcase Top 20|
|Bundaberg Rum Showcase Collectomania Bottles|
|Distillers Number 3|
|Millaquin Tasting Notes|
|Millaquin Distilling Process|
|Other White Rums|
|8 Year Old|
|18 Year Old|
|Bundaberg Racing 2011|
|Bundaberg Rum Spiced Rum|
|Darren Lockyer No.6|
|Road To Recovery|
|BDC 125 Anniversary|
|2013 Distiller's No 3|
|Darren Lockyer Select Vat|
|MDC Small Batch|
|10 Year Old|
|Master Distiller's Collection Dark Oak|
|Master Distiller's Collection Double Barrel|
|Master Distiller's Collection Two Eighty (280)|
|Master Distiller's Collection Blenders Edition|
|Master Distiller's Collection Black Barrel|
|Treasure Island Rum|
|Cutty Sark Rum|
|Items of Interest|
|Birth of an Aussie Icon 1|
|Distillery Virtual Tour|
|Brett McMahon Speech|
|Visitor Centre Opening Speech|
|Spring Hill House|
|Bundaberg Black Tasting Notes|
|George Hurt - The First Chemist|
|Bundaberg Rum Distribution|
|Millaquin Distilling Process|
|Royal Liqueur Pistols|
|Manufacture of Bundaberg Rum|
|Spring Hill House Article|
|Event Line Rules|
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