Bellingen Shire presented and discussed plans and projects at the North Coast Tourism Awards

Recognised as a North Coast Local Tourism Hero is Rebecca Beaton, Riverside Holiday Resort, Urunga.


BELLINGEN Shire Council hosted the North Coast Tourism Symposium and Awards on Thursday June 24 at C.ex Urunga.

The event was attended by over 120 industry representatives from across the North Coast.

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Keynote Speaker for the event was Gus Balbontin who had delegates in stitches from the minute he took to the stage, according to Michael Grieve, Manager Economic and Business Development at Bellingen Shire Council.

“Originally from the wilds of Patagonia, he is a true, intrepid traveller and has worked as Executive Director of Lonely Planet and has presented to audiences across the world.”

“His high energy take on tourism and life brought some refreshing insights to the event,” said Council General Manager Liz Jeremy.

The Symposium covered some of the great work Destination North Coast is delivering and included presentations on Regenerative Tourism and updates from Destination NSW and Tourism Australia.

Bellingen Council showcased some of its Destination Development projects including upgrades to Dangar Falls, development of its Inclusive Tourism Strategy and featured presentations on the Great Koala National Park and the Shire’s new Branding Strategy.

A well-received speaker and local resident, John Morse, a former CEO of Tourism Australia and Australian tourism legend, outlined some of the work he’d been involved in with the branding strategy saying it stacked up as some of the best work he’s been involved in throughout his career.

The latest COVID outbreak in Sydney caused a quick adaptation meaning some speakers could still contribute via Zoom.

“The Tourism Awards in the evening were opened by local Gumbaynggirr Elder, Micklo Jarrett who had the audience spellbound with his unique Welcome to Country,” said Michael.

“In his welcome address, Mayor Dominic King, thanked all the local sponsors who included, Reflections Holiday Parks, Riverside Holiday Resort Urunga, National Parks and Wildlife, Affirmations Bellingen, C.ex Group and Waves to Wilderness.

“The event was topped off with Raleigh Winery offering guests a generous dose of their Brandy Crème Liqueur complemented by some delicious chocolates and with music provided by young, local artist Hannah Harlen.”




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