Call for better organisation

A BUNDABERG motel owner is calling for better organisation in the region, saying doubling up on events is damaging the tourism industry.

Oscar motel owner Wendy Carter said she was sick of seeing big events on at the same time, meaning people had trouble finding accommodation and places to eat.

“A lot of people end up not coming to events because they can't find a place to stay,” she said.

Mrs Carter said she had seen plenty of examples of bad timing, including last weekend when the Childers Fest, Burn up Burnett and the Feeling Good Netball Carnival clashed.

“It gets so frustrating because they are losing out on numbers that they could have gotten if they had looked at what else was on,” she said.

The motel owner of eight years said she often had people complaining about the lack of available beds in town.

“Bundaberg runs at about 65% occupancy so we don't need more accommodation, things just need to be organised better so we aren't flat out one weekend and have no one the next weekend.”

She said compared to restaurants, accommodation providers had it easy.

“At least we have a bit of warning when we start getting big numbers of reservations. These poor restaurants cater for the number of guests so they might put three waitresses on for what they think will be a normal night and then all these people show up. Then people complain they can't get a table or the wait is too long.”

Mrs Carter said this left a bad impression on the town but council's economic development manager Naomi Searle disagreed.

“It is a positive tourism outcome when the region's accommodation outlets are full and council works with Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism to advise venues when events are being held.”

Ms Searle said that council had no legal ability to stop clashing events.

“There is a range of accommodation and hospitality services and facilities throughout the council region that are equipped to handle major regional events,” she said.

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