NEW: The Destination Events Grant is now open for applications from community groups and commercial organisations to encourage future large scale events within the region.
NEW: The Destination Events Grant is now open for applications from community groups and commercial organisations to encourage future large scale events within the region.

Big bucks on offer to increase tourism in Western Downs

A new Western Downs Regional Council community grant will encourage tourism in the region to help boost the local economy.

The grants program is focused on supporting events that attract overnight visitors and promote the character and culture of the Western Downs.

Large-scale events will be the focal point of the Destination Events grant in order to maximise tourism opportunities and increase visitor expenditure across the region.

Tourism, Events and Regional Promotion spokeswoman councillor Kylie Bourne said the new grant had the potential to provide substantial economic benefits to the Western Downs.

"Council is continuously looking for ways to promote the strong economic growth of our region so the Destination Events program is all about endorsing our tourism opportunities," Cr Bourne said.

"We're talking about extensive events that will run for multiple days or typically host 2000 people or more with a large portion of those coming from outside of our communities.

"These are the events that will bring more guests to our towns which will result in amplified tourism and an increase in the local economy."

Community and Cultural Development spokeswoman councillor Kaye Maguire is encouraging local groups to expand their ideas and take advantage of the opportunity.

"In addition to tourism attraction, the concept of this grant is to support events that align with the character and culture of our local area," Cr Maguire said.

"Our community groups embody that great culture, so I would love to see them put together their event ideas and benefit from this grant.

"The Destination Events Grant is also open to commercial organisations, so I'm excited to see the opportunities this will create for the region."

Applications for funding of between $5000 to $20,000 are now open through the council's online Smarty Grants system.

As the grant accommodates for expansive events, submissions will require a full event proposal (a template is available) along with proof of organisational event planning and demonstrated capability to deliver and market the event.

To find out more about the Destination Events Program, visit the council's website or call 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624).