Tourism strategy in focus

By ED SOUTHORN

A TOURISM industry forum to help determine new strategies for funding and promoting Tweed tourism is expected to be held in February next year.

Local tourism industry operators, Tweed Shire Council representatives and community groups are expected to attend the forum, after Tweed and Coolangatta Tourism (TACTIC), the council-funded tourism agency, advised it would not seek an extension of its contract beyond June next year, due to funding difficulties.

TACTIC and council officials 10 days ago agreed to proceed with the forum, which will consider how the Tweed tourism industry and council can develop a workable consensus vision for the future.

The forum will include discussion of the precise role of TACTIC, including resources for tourism marketing and for tourism information centres.

TACTIC chair Lee Eyre yester- day said the forum would give everybody a chance to have some input on the future of Tweed tourism promotion.

"I'm sure we'll get a good outcome," Ms Eyre said.

She agreed it may be possible for a tourism promotion business levy, which applies on the Gold Coast and in the Clarence Valley, to be included on the forum agenda.

However, she said some advice was that introducing such a levy may face legal problems after being tried in the Tweed about 10 years ago and then dropped after a court challenge.

After TACTIC advised it would not seek renewal of its contract, Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase revealed that he believed the Gold Coast Tourism agency was betterplaced to market the Tweed than TACTIC.

Councillor Polglase has since indicated that perhaps only some Tweed tourism services might best be handled by Gold Coast Tourism.



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