Capricorn Enterprise celebrates 10 years of success

TEN YEARS ago, Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development Ltd (trading as Capricorn Enterprise) was formed – an organisation entrusted to promote lifestyle, work and investment opportunities, along with leisure development in the region.

With an unrelenting mission of facilitating future prosperity, Capricorn Enterprise’s longstanding strength to carry out work aligned with business support and development, destination marketing, tourism and visitor services, and investment attraction has only been made possible by a solid legion of remarkable member businesses that have worked collaboratively to drive the industry forward and promote a diverse landscape.

Reflecting on 10 years at the helm of the group, CEO Mary Carroll said, “We remain justifiably proud of our ongoing collaborative efforts with our partners, stakeholders and members – a collection of real and resilient Aussie characters who all wear their huge hearts for our local patch on their sleeves.

“Marking 10 years in business is more than just keeping the lights on – it means that our members, private and public sector stakeholders and the community believes the work we do is valuable.

“I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported our work and played a part in our success along the way.”

One of the greatest and proudest years for the Capricorn region (Central Highlands to Keppel Islands) was 2019, when a record number of travellers visited the area, with 1.2 million domestic and international overnight visitors spending $668 million and staying for 5.45 million visitor nights.

In addition, 1.5 million day trip visitors spent $286 million dollars.

From this huge increase in visitor numbers to the commencement of more than $3.6 billion worth of infrastructure projects, prior to 2020 the region was seeing very promising signs of another positive decade ahead with population upwardly projecting, unemployment rates decreasing and business numbers improving.

Despite the effects of the GFC in 2007/08, major flooding in 2010/11, TC Marcia in 2015, major resort closures in 2008 and 2016, the cyclical nature of the mining resources sector, severe bushfires in 2019 and the current COVID-19 pandemic, the region has proven to be an undeniable force with which to be reckoned.

“Our destination is incredibly special, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our local residential and business community, particularly our members and volunteers for your ongoing pride and contribution,” Ms Carroll said.

Several businesses and advocates have offered messages of thanks and congratulations to Capricorn Enterprise.

Laureth Rumble from Pumpkin Island: “Now more than ever we appreciate the work you do; from marketing our beautiful region to both the domestic and international markets, the extensive business mentoring we receive to grow our relationships, your advocacy to the various levels of industry representation and all levels of government, your tireless promotion of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and all we offer our visitors, and then finally your insatiable passion for all the small, ­medium and large business owners in the region to do well by attracting more visitor numbers to our region.”

Brittany Lauga MP: “Capricorn Enterprise has an outstanding reputation for its work in promoting the Southern Great Barrier Reef destination market to domestic and international visitors.”

Michelle Landry MP: “I have always been impressed by Capricorn Enterprise’s professionalism and bipartisanship in advocating for Central Queensland’s tourism operators and small businesses. I hope that our positive working relationship continues for years to come.”

Genevieve and Marto from Ferns Hideaway Resort: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mary Carroll along with Capricorn Enterprise for all the wonderful help, guidance and directional assistance you have all supplied.”

Richard and Libbie Wilson from Keppel Bay Marina and the Waterline Restaurant: “As a major marine and tourism hospitality business on the Capricorn Coast, the Keppel Bay Marina and Waterline Restaurant has appreciated the constant and superb assistance, advocacy, advice, support and marketing as we navigate through one of the most difficult times in our 24 year business from Mary Carroll and Capricorn Enterprise.”

Bill and Andrea Stokje from Oshen Holiday Apartments: “We have worked with other tourism boards and Mary and the team are far above the rest, outperforming time after time – it is a blessing to be associated with Capricorn Enterprise and this region is lucky to have them.”

Scott Ryan from Keppel Explorer: “I’ve really appreciated the kickstart Capricorn Enterprise provided me when starting my business. Without their support, it just wouldn’t have been possible to have achieved National and International exposure within the first 12 months of operating.”