RIVER: Mt Warning looking down the Tweed river into Murwillumbah.
RIVER: Mt Warning looking down the Tweed river into Murwillumbah. John Gass

Queensland company could win $7.6M Tweed tourism contract

TWEED'S $446 million tourism industry is on the brink of a major shake-up as Tweed Shire Council considers awarding the lucrative marketing contract to a Hervey Bay-based company.

The tender for the contract is scheduled to be decided at Thursday's council meeting. Council officers are recommending snubbing Destination Tweed in favour of DR Tourism, ending almost 25 years of Destination Tweed promoting the region.

"(DR Tourism's) submission demonstrated capacity, capability and presented the best value-for-money solution," the council officers wrote.

"Awarding the contract to DR Tourism is considered the most advantageous option for council."

Advice by lawyers in 2011 directed the council to take the contract to tender once the previous agreement expired, but Councillor Pryce Allsop said awarding the contract to DR Tourism wasn't a clear-cut decision, and he still had a lot to consider before supporting the recommendation.

"I'm concerned that we may lose a company that are really good but I'm also concerned that if this other company has top-notched ratings, we may miss the ability of getting someone who is actually better," he said.

"We were relatively happy with (Destination Tweed's) performance.

"The other guys didn't have any runs on the board locally but the percentages in the performance evaluation went against Destination Tweed. It's really unfortunate the contract has expired at the early stages of Rose Wright's (position as CEO)."

 

TOURISM: Destination Tweed CEO Rose Wright .
TOURISM: Destination Tweed CEO Rose Wright . Scott Davis

If councillors accept the officers' recommendation, DR Tourism would be paid $950,000 a year for promoting and marketing the Tweed.

The four-year contract would have an option to be extended by a further four years, totalling $7.6 million. Destination Tweed's previous four-year contract cost ratepayers $3.2 million.

If it misses out, Destination Tweed - after promoting the region since 1994 - would finish on September 30.

While Destination Tweed would not comment until the contract was decided, CEO Rose Wright told Tweed Daily News her team was determined to work up until the decision was made.

"We're doing our job," she said.

"Destination Tweed is moving forward at a rapid pace."

DR Tourism director Robbie Cornelius would not say what his company would bring to the region until councillors had made their decision.

Tweed Shire Council will not say how much each company's services would cost ratepayers, saying that would breach of commercial confidence.

Cr Ron Cooper said he would prefer to stay with Destination Tweed.

"I would want them to give Destination Tweed a chance to finish what they started," he said.

Destination Tweed was previously known as Tweed Tourism when the organisation was established by the council as an independent tourism management body.



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