TACTIC is to aim higher



TWEED'S cash-strapped tourism body is set to wind-up its $267,000-a-year contract with Tweed Council in a bid to force a major shake-up in the way the area is to be promoted.

Members of Tweed and Coolangatta Tourism Inc (TACTIC) will be asked to vote in December on a board proposal that it not renew its council contract when it expires in June next year.

The shock move could spell the end of TACTIC as an entity at a time when industry operators believe the Tweed is on the verge of a potential tourism bonanza with new five-star holiday resorts nearing completion on the coast.

TACTIC general manager Terry Watson said yesterday that it probably would not be viable for the 14-year-old organisation to continue operating if its major source of revenue was axed.

But he stressed that the move should not be seen as an ultimatum to the council to play a bigger role in future plans to promote the area as an integrated destination.

"At the end of the day the council has three choices in that they can do nothing, run tourism in-house by taking over the visitor centres or outsource it to another organisation," he said.

"What we want to do if this is passed is sit down with the council and explore all options in the six months before funding ends.

"The board feels we have taken tourism promotion as far as we can go within the current structure and our limited resources. It's time for some really serious decisions to be made because we need to move to a new level."

He said among the options that would be explored was the possibility of handing over promotion of the area to the Gold Coast Tourism Bureau or doing more to promote it as a back-packers' destination.

"Everything is up for debate in an open and transparent way so we can get concensus over the best way to move ahead - nothing at this stage can be ruled in or out," he said.

Current funding was only sufficient for TACTIC to operate the Murwillumbah Visitors Bureau, with some of the members' $50,000 subscriptions needed to subsidise the Tweed Heads bureau.

TACTIC chairman Lee Eyre said she did not believe that TACTIC would necessarily be wound up, but could continue as a membership-based organisation.

She said Tourism in the Tweed had reached the end of an era and was on the dawn of a very exciting future.



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