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February 2019


Rest area permit move

Townsville moves towards permit-only free-camps

'It will encourage more visitors to the area'

Council considers permit system for free-camp sites

Have your say

TOWNSVILLE City Council in Queensland is considering setting up an online booking system for overnight stays at its six free camping areas.

It believes it would make life simpler for tourists at the sites on the northern beaches.

Councillor Margie Ryder said the council was investigating setting up the new arrangement to "streamline the process" and encourage more visitors to the area.

"Improved access to campsites will bring more money into the city," she claimed.

"We are looking at using a similar online booking program to what we have for camping at Lake Paluma and boating on Ross River.

"Potential campers will be able to book permits on user-friendly websites that include the latest information on all sites."

Planning and Development Committee chairman Les Walker said the council-operated campsites attracted 5000 visitors and injected over $500,000 into the economy in 2014.

"Social media has lured more people to our region and there's been a surge in demand for no-cost and low-cost camping areas," he said.

"The potential benefit to the economy could be even bigger in 2019 ... particularly with the growth in social media such as Instagram.

"With Magnetic Island recently voted the most Instagrammable location in Australia we want to show off even more of our glorious region."

Cr Walker said the new booking system could have long-term benefits.

"A simpler, faster process will make a tourist's trip to Townsville an enjoyable experience from the outset," he said.

"The online booking system means people can enjoy their drive to Townsville, knowing they have a campsite reserved for the night."


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