Tourism body seeks government support

Ballina MP Don Page has supported a Northern Rivers Tourism submission to the NSW and Federal governments to provide financial support for a tourism recovery campaign following the January floods and heavy rains.

“We conducted a survey of tourism operators across Northern Rivers to assess the economic impact on the industry,” said Northern Rivers Tourism Chief Executive Russell Mills.

“We cross-referenced loss estimates in the survey with published data indicating that tourism contributes up to $44 million to the region’s economy in the key holiday month of January.

“This suggests that about 40 per cent of the usual January business has not materialised, which is devastating.

“We have worked alongside Mid North Coast Tourism who have also surveyed tourism operators to assess the impact. The weather doesn’t discriminate, with flood damage from Coffs to Queensland’s Capricorn Coast.”

To counter the significant downturn in business, Northern Rivers Tourism has proposed a recovery campaign promoting the people, places and experiences in the Northern Rivers to key markets in South East Queensland, regional NSW, Sydney and Melbourne.

“Its really important that we send a clear message that Northern Rivers is open for tourism business and we desperately need the State and Federal governments, as well as the industry itself, to partner us on this. Northern Rivers Tourism would bring considerable resources to the table but it won’t happen without a cooperative effort,” Mr Mills said.

The submission requests that the NSW and Federal government each contribute $250,000 toward a campaign that would integrate advertising, publicity, online promotion and business development initiatives.

To make the campaign go even further, tourism operators across the region are invited to participate according to their resources, from direct contribution to promotional offers adding incentive to consumers to come for their next holiday.

Mr Page said: “We must send the clear message that the Northern Rivers is open for business and attract travellers back to our wonderful beaches, hinterland, villages, towns and rivers.”

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