An historic Toowoomba venue has become a surprise international wedding destination, attracting couples from all over the world and boosting the local economy.
Gabbinbar Homestead owner Isaac Moody said the business originally targeted local couples, but the charms of the 1863 homestead quickly attracted much wider attention.
‘When we opened in January 2012, we initially envisaged our main market would be local Toowoomba couples,’ he said.
‘But once photos of our weddings started to make wedding magazines, we were inundated with bookings not just from the local area but interstate and internationally.
‘Currently over 95% of our wedding clients originate from outside the local area.’
Mr Moody said two key factors had made it possible for Gabbinbar to successfully market itself around the world.
‘Two things have been gamechangers for our business: Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba, which opened in 2014, and digital marketing.
‘The airport gives us easy connectivity to the world, and digital marketing gives us the capacity to market to interstate and international clients.’
Gabbinbar’s popularity has driven significant business growth, with flow-on benefits for other local businesses.
‘These days Gabbinbar Homestead employs approximately 50 staff, including 6 full-time wedding planners and a wonderful team of chefs,’ Mr Moody said.
‘We host up to 200 weddings a year and generate an average of 400 room nights of accommodation for the city of Toowoomba each week [4 weddings with around 100 guests each] — making Gabbinbar Homestead one of the most significant tourism businesses on the Darling Downs.’
Tourism is Queensland’s most valuable services export, injecting millions of overseas dollars into the state’s economy.
Tourism is identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.
You can learn more about the Gabbinbar story in our full interview with Isaac on TIQ’s Medium page.
Hero image credit: Evernew Studio