Give your feedback on tourism draft plan

Destination Kiama has released its draft Strategic Tourism and Events Plan for industry and community input.

At the launch: Councillor Warren Steel, Destination Kiama Manager Karen Ronning, Bush Bank’s Sonia Slyer and Councillor Matt Brown

At the industry launch function, the Chair of the Tourism Advisory Committee, Councillor Matt Brown, highlighted the Vision statement in the document: ‘Kiama will welcome and inspire visitors year round to experience our distinctive natural landscapes, relaxed lifestyle, arts, culture and events’.

“We’ve worked hard to get these words right, but this is the time to discuss those words as a community,” he said

“They will be the guiding principle of how we market, develop and run things in tourism.”

The three page document has a strong focus on growing spending by increasing the number of overnight visitors, increasing awareness within the community of the importance of the visitor economy, and coordinating the efforts of diverse participants.

“We have taken onboard best practice by opting for a briefer format so it is easier to digest the framework we are putting in place,” said the Manager of Tourism and Events, Karen Ronning.

“This is really the start of the work.

“The Advisory Committee has come up with a fabulous list of ideas for implementing the strategy, and I’m sure after this consultation it is going to be longer again.”

Cllr Brown encouraged as many businesses and individuals as possible to provide their feedback on the draft plan.

“Delivering a Strategic Tourism and Events Plan that reflects the priorities and long term direction for this sector is a critical first step for Destination Kiama,” he said.

“Tourism and events generate around $187 million for the local economy, including 1,510 direct and indirect jobs, so it’s in everyone’s interest to be part of this process.

“We now need the involvement of those many individuals and businesses with indirect and direct involvement in local tourism and events to have their say.”

Cllr Brown said that events will play a very important role in developing the visitor economy, and that Destination Kiama had already put in a bid for a major music event, with international exposure, for next February.

He also hinted that final approval is being sought for an added major attraction at this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Harbour.

Details: Feedback is being sought via an online survey or attendance at one of the Open Forums being held on 26 October.

Go to www.kiama.com.au/membership/strategic-plan to fill out the survey or register

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