Plan to make Tweed a gourmet?s delight
By LEONIE BRANN
THE Tweed's diverse produce and eateries will soon be on the menu for a new generation of tourists, thanks to an innovative marketing and industry development campaign.
The Taste of the Tweed initiative, which will begin the process of rebranding the Tweed as a destination for gourmet travellers and encourage the use of local produce in the area's restaurants, has been kicked-off with $60,000 in funding.
Small Business and Regional Development Minister David Campbell announced the funding for the project while visiting the Tweed last week.
Co-ordinated by Tweed and Coolangatta Tourism Inc (TACTIC), the project has received $35,000 in funding from Tweed Shire Council and $25,000 from the NSW Department of State and Regional Development.
TACTIC chairman Terry Watson said the food production, agriculture and hospitality were some of the big industries on the Tweed, but the full potential of these industries to benefit from the burgeoning tourist dollar in the area was yet to be realised.
He said the project would encourage farmers through workshops to look at developing the potential of their business to attract the attention of tourists, therefore finding a new stream of revenue.
"Four years ago when we started strategic planning for the future of tourism on the Tweed we recognised a need to find more things for tourists to do in the area," Mr Watson said.
"A lot of our attractions, like Tropical Fruit World and Catch A Crab are already themed around food and agribusiness, and a lot of our festivals also have a similar theme."
Mr Watson said the project would see the Tweed become synonymous with areas like the Hunter Valley and Yarra Valley as a food-lovers delight.
"It will probably take six months to get off the ground and take another 10 years to put us on the map, but we need to find other ways to capitalise on the 1.25 million visitors we have to the Tweed every year."