Tweed tourism on a roll

THE Tweed is emerging as a top spot for tourists to spend their end-of-year holidays, with many tourism operators reporting booked-out facilities already for the Christmas-New Year period.

Tweed and Coolangatta Tourism Inc (TACTIC) chief Terry Watson said the tourism industry was buoyant on the Tweed, leading many operators to put no-vacancy signs on their properties already.

"The feedback is definitely that it is busy. For several months things have been very positive," he said.

"But it is difficult to say what is causing it."

With the gradual introduction of new tourism ventures, tourists could be attracted to the slowly evolving Tweed.

"The Tweed is in transition. It really is beginning a new era with a lot of new products coming on-line," Mr Watson said.

"In two-years-time this area will be very, very different.

"And as the ventures come on we are incorporating promotion with them. For instance we are working with Out- rigger encouraging them to say they are in the Tweed in their marketing - its all about branding."

Mr Watson said the recent win by a number of Tweed businesses at the Northern Rivers Tourism Awards also helped the local tourism industry, but not so much by attracting more visitors.

"It is rewarding to those people who go the extra mile," he said.

"It makes them feel pretty good and they can have a pretty tough job a lot of the time."

The tourism body is currently working on a long-term promotional strategy to position the Tweed as a diner's delight by inviting food writers to experience the place.

"We are adding value across the agricultural production chain, developing an image of the Tweed as a food destination to keep the money circulating in our economy," he said.

"But there is no silver bullet, no one thing you can hang your hat on for promotion. We need to turn our tourism strengths into market ready product."

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