Tourism group cancels Council contract on Visitor Information Centre and online marketing

amara McWilliam addressed Council on behalf of The Valley Hub

REPRESENTING local internet platform ‘The Valley Hub’, Macksville business owner and author Tamara McWilliam addressed assembled councillors and staff at the Nambucca Valley Council’s general meeting last week.

“We (The Valley Hub) have put a lot of time and money into our platform.

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“We have a brilliant website that is very interactive and we have a great following on social media.

“We (also) do podcasting, newsletters, and a guide to what’s on in the Valley.

“So we are an absolutely perfect platform to push tourism in the Nambucca Valley,” Ms McWilliam said in an effort to convince councillors to award an online tourism services contract to The Valley Hub.

In August of 2020, Council awarded an indexed $66,000 per annum, five-year contract to provide tourism marketing services and a five-year lease of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) to the Nambucca Valley Tourism Association (NVTA).

This organisation has recently informed the council that it will terminate its agreement to supply these services after 2 April, 2024.

According to a report submitted to Council, one of the reasons for this termination is that it has become difficult in recent years to recruit volunteers to man the VIC in Nambucca Heads and there are stringent conditions on the number of hours which the VIC must be in operation for it qualify for Tourism Information Accreditation (AVIC).

Ms McWilliam made it clear that The Valley Hub group has no interest in managing or manning the VIC but feels they are uniquely placed to market the area on behalf of the Council in ways which their digital platforms can support.

Council resolved to receive a report into tourism marketing and advertising options including for the future of the VIC.

“Is a visitor information centre, in its current location, the best way to promote the Valley?” Mayor Hoban questioned the councillors.

“We’ve got two issues in terms of tourism.

“One is getting people off the highway into the Valley and once they are here many people would like to have that face-to-face contact, particularly with a local, who can tell them more about what there is to see and do,” she said in calling for the report so that services can continue to be provided after the 30 June ending of the current contract period.

In the meantime, Council will retain a casual volunteer coordinator for the VIC and cover other functions through the 2023/24 budgeted quarterly amount of $17,250 which was to be paid to the licensee.

Council also resolved to find out more details of a proposal to be submitted by The Valley Hub.


The future of Nambucca Valley’s visitor information centre at Giinagay Way, Nambucca Heads is currently being discussed by Nambucca Valley Council. Photo: courtesy of Nambucca Valley Council.

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