Tourism expert says Shire needs eco-friendly development
A PANEL of tourism experts have shared their advice with Tweed business owners during a networking breakfast.
The Kingscliff and District Chamber of Commerce meeting was all about attracting tourists to the area and giving them an unforgettable experience.
Speaking during the event was Tourism Australia chair Bob East, Destination North Coast chair Cameron Arnold, The Tweed Tourism Co general manager Brad Nardi and GreenX7 CEO Tim Adams.
Each speaker discussed how they brought tourists to the area, and despite having varying opinions, they were in unison about improving the Shire’s tourism numbers.
Tourism Australia chair Bob East said although Kingscliff and surrounds was small, business owners and operators were sticking together to “hunt in a pack”.
“They’re actually trying to get a bit of breakthrough in a really noisy market by banding together,” Mr East said.
“It’s one of the few areas where you will see people promoting each other and that is always a test of whether a destination is serious about itself.
“It’s what some smaller destinations did incredibly well in the 80s and 90s and I was a bit disappointed to see it fall by the wayside, but there are still pockets of it.”
Mr East said if a destination was serious about growing its tourism numbers and increasing their spending, it had to look at development.
“No one likes to talk about development, but when done well, it is the most defining thing you can do for a destination,” he said.
“I truly believe you need to plan what you want from a tourism perspective.
“Have a local environment plan that encourages people to come and put in good quality, eco-friendly, environmentally-appropriate development.
“If you don’t do that and have a plan and do it well, what you end up doing is having people trying to do it without the ideal plan and they will put in product that you won’t be proud of.”