Transforming empty shopfronts


The main street of Queanbeyan is now home to two new small retailers, after Mayor Tim Overall launched the Queanbeyan Christmas Cave and Queanbeyan Lions Club Community Bookshop recently.

The two stores are part of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s (QPRC) ‘Places + Spaces’ initiative, which aims to take under-utilised spaces in the Queanbeyan CBD, including laneways, open spaces and empty shopfronts, and transform them into bustling community spaces.

The Christmas Cave, run by Deborah Olde and Susan Brinton, stocks Christmas decorations, snow globes, Christmas trees, candles, wreaths and more.

The community bookshop is a partnership between QPRC Councillor Peter Bray and the Lions Club of Queanbeyan, with thousands of books provided by Mr Bray from his vast collection. Books will be sold from as little as $1 or $2.

The shops are located at 146 and 148 Monaro Street in Queanbeyan. The Christmas Cave will be open until 21 December or until sold out and the Queanbeyan Lions Club Community Bookshop will be open until mid-January.

Educational tourism brings $1.4m to ACT

Educational tourism, or the ‘school excursion market’, injects $140 million to the ACT economy, impacting local businesses as well as national cultural institutions.

Unearth-Ed, providers of group education travel throughout Australia, recently gathered representatives from Canberra’s tourism attractions to launch their 2019 initiatives for the ACT market.

Paul Crowther from Unearth-Ed said the school excursion market supplements tourism-related seasons and allows many businesses to remain sustainable all year round.

“The Canberra educational market continues to grow and attracts schools from all over Australia to complement the classroom study of ‘Civics and Citizenship’,” he said.

“It’s not only the economic impacts of educational travel, it’s the increased learning potential a visit to Canberra has on a student as well as the emotional impact that a visit to a place like the War Memorial can have on someone’s psyche.”

He said international educationis the ACT’s largest export, at over $786 million, and accounting for 40% of the ACT’s total export activity in 2016-17. Over 16,000 interstate and international students were welcomed to Canberra at the beginning of the year.

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