Mt Warning to draw the world here

MORE cashed-up overseas tourists will visit the Tweed as a result of a marketing campaign that could see Mount Warning recognised as one of Australia's most iconic natural wonders.

The National Landscapes campaign could see the Tweed and other areas of the Northern Rivers, Gold Coast and the Scenic Rim area of Queensland marketed as one destination, according to Tweed Tourism boss Phil Villiers, and aims to better attract foreign tourists who are interested in "experiencing" an area, rather than just visiting it.

A decision on the proposal put forward by the Mt Warning Wollumbin Caldera National Landscapes Steering Committee will be announced at a special event to be held at the Tweed River Regional Art Gallery on Tuesday, and Mr Villiers is hoping for a positive response.

"The market the campaign will try to attract is foreign tourists who are planning to stay in the area for seven days or longer," he said.

"These 'experience seeker' tourists will have more dollars to spend and will be looking for a different experience than what they have experienced elsewhere -- they are more interested in the culture and natural beauty of an area than other types of tourists.

"If the committee's plan is accepted, it will see the Tweed, Northern Rivers and across the border into Queensland, re-branded as one destination, which will make it easier to market to overseas tourists."

The National Landscapes program was launched by Tourism Australia and Parks Australia in December 2006, and the Mount Warning caldera has been pin-pointed as a drawcard because of the unique nature of its volcanic origins and evolution as one of the most biodiverse eco-systems in Australia.

"If we are ultimately accepted as a National Landscape, Mt Warning and the surrounding region would be positioned at the forefront of Tourism Australia's destination marketing strategy," said steering committee chairperson, Robyn Rae.

"Their targeted 'experience seeker' market represents exactly the sort of serious, environmentally conscious traveller that would bring significant benefits to the region in a sustainable manner."

The news has been welcomed by the owners of the Mount Warning Holiday Park, whose businesses takes in breathtaking views of Wollumbin.

"Before we moved to the Tweed we hadn't really heard of Mt Warning, or had knowledge about its cultural and environmental significance," said partner of the business Deb Fox said.

"So I am not surprised that other Australians and people from overseas have not heard about it. But a campaign like National Landscapes will change all of that.

"We definitely see the benefit of the marketing the area including Byron Bay, Ballina and other parts of the region, as well as across to the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland as one area."

Ms Fox, who part owns the camping, caravanning and accommodation facility with her partner Glenn Burnell, Beck Buchannan and Dion Sheahan, said the campaign will benefit all businesses on the Tweed.

"These people will want to experience what the Tweed has to offer, so all of business should experience some flow-on benefit."



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