Tourism committee ‘up to the job’
Wednesday, 25th March, 2015
By Erica Visser
Developing the region’s tourism could best be described as “very challenging” for a new committee with no funding or a clear model for the future, a City Council report says.
But the CEO of the city’s peak tourism body, Inland Tourism NSW’s Graham Perry, was yesterday optimistic after meeting with the small committee and other stakeholders.
As part of a process funded by Council and Regional Development Australia, a Tourism Taskforce was engaged to develop the best way forward before handing the responsibility over to an industry-led committee.
The taskforce engaged with over 300 industry stakeholders but just five delegates have signed on to the committee, following several last-minute withdrawals.
They were Eldee Station’s Naomi Schmidt, Tri State Safaris’ Mick McCulkin, RFDS Base Manager Steve Martin, Silver City Mint owner Chris Anderson and Caledonian Bed and Breakfast owner Hugh Gough.
A closing report from Council management noted the committee “has no clear recommended model to move forward with, no compelling groundswell of local or strategic industry support, no funds and no governing body to administer its activities”.
Mr Perry met the committee yesterday and it agreed to support developing a formal structure to implement the Inland Destination Management Plan.
He said it was hoped that structure could be launched at the Inland Tourism Awards at the Civic Centre.
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Council and the Chamber of Commerce were willing to be involved, but it was not known where funding and resources for the committee would come from.
Mr Perry told the BDT it was vital the “right players were at the table” and that the committee would need financial support. But who would pay and how much was needed was still up in the air.
“I reckon today is a turning point. What this provides is a clear way forward to develop the structure before working out everything else,” Mr Perry said.
“I think we should applaud the RDA for taking leadership and at the end of the day, it’s all about collaboration. The committee won’t be working alone.”
Inland Tourism’s goal was to double overnight visits by 2020.
“A lot of the visitor economy is made up of small businesses. It’s very difficult for them to spend every day working in their businesses but also take the time to work on their (tourism).
“We’re determined by July to provide a platform for incentives to engage more small business owners to get involved. July 25 is going to be a watershed day for the region.”