Nambucca Valley tourism operators given chance to inform Council strategy

Mrs Anna Fisher of Fisher Design and Architecture, Nambucca Valley Council’s Mr Michael Grieve, Mrs Mei Ling from the Mandarin Motel and Mrs Jacquie Burnside of Destination NSW at the Nambucca Valley Council’s Tourism Stakeholder Workshop on Tuesday night.

NAMBUCCA Valley Council facilitated a Tourism Stakeholder Workshop at the Island Golf Club, Nambucca Heads on Tuesday 14 May.

The workshop was intended to inform Council’s new Tourism and Economic Development Strategy.

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An open invitation was sent to all tourism operators in the Nambucca Valley.

Discussions included an update from Destination North Coast on what was happening in the region, visitor information services and the future direction of tourism in the Nambucca Valley.

Attendees were given the opportunity to provide input into what Destination NSW’s management priorities should be.

The event attracted over 30 tourism operators, business owners or members of community groups affected by aspects of the tourism industry.

Several Nambucca Valley Councillors were in attendance including Mayor Rhonda Hoban OAM and Deputy Mayor John Wilson.

Mr Michael Grieve, Community Development Officer with Nambucca Valley Council, coordinated the forum.

Focus was given to the local tourism industry’s input to Council’s Tourism and Economic Development Strategy, understanding the priorities of Destination Mid North Coast, local opportunities and challenges, key market segments and branding.

Mr Michael Thurston, General Manager of Destination North Coast NSW, addressed the workshop and detailed that, although the caravan and camping sector is flourishing, cost-of-living pressure is directly affecting discretionary spending by tourists which affects restaurants, cafes and retail outlets.

He went on to point out the opportunities around the corner such as the realisation of the Great Koala National Park and warned that the completion of the Coffs Harbour bypass would make the tourism sector in the region much more competitive.

Mr Thurston urged the Nambucca Valley to be ready for the opportunities this will present.

Michael Grieve drew attention to the possibilities of utilising State-owned areas for tourism opportunities and pointed to the Jacks Ridge mountain bike facility as a prime example.

Mr Grieve went on to highlight the benefit of large groups and festivals in the district.

Mrs Donna Pell had the support of the room when she strongly suggested that events which bring large numbers of visitors and money to the district, such as the VW Spectacular, could be better supported by Council.

Importantly, Claire Forbes from the Scotts Head Community Centre detailed that better overall management of resources and infrastructure must be considered to counter the negative aspects of significant tourist numbers on small communities such as hers.

Claire went on to highlight that issues associated with tourism infrastructure ownership resulted in the economic benefits from tourism not being reinvested in the community.

Some discussion centred on the value of Tourist Information Centres and if they were useful.

The Nambucca Visitors Centre’s Gail Griffiths was able to respond to those questioning the value of such facilities by pointing out that over 2000 visitors had passed through the centre in the first few months of the year.


Mr Michael Grieve, Community Development Officer at Nambucca Valley Council, addresses the Tourism Stakeholder Workshop at the Nambucca Heads Island Golf Club on Tuesday night.

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