Amongst the potential attractions outlined in Council’s new Kiama Tourism Opportunities Plan are making our surf clubhouses into visitor hubs offer restaurants, bars and entertainment; packaging up our area’s walks into a marketable network; encouraging an eco-resort at Jerrara Dam; and even a zipline from Jamberoo to Minnamurra.
“This is a big picture document. It is about identifying opportunities so we can activiate them when the need arises. It is looking at all the opportunities we have to increase visitation, increase length of stay and increase spend,” says Destination Kiama Chair Councillor Matt Brown.
The ideas in the plan are based around identified ‘hero experiences’. Hero experiences are industry speak for what is special about a destination – what makes it stand out from its competitors.
The four hero experiences identified are based around our traditional seaside lifestyle, the dramatic coastline, Saddleback Mountain and the escarpment, and family activities.
“It is important that we maintain our character and integrity, and if you look at these experiences they fit into why people live here,“ says Cllr Brown.
Devised by Destination Kiama in consultation with tourism operators and interested residents, and with advice from external experts, the Plan was formally adopted at the July Council Meeting, meaning it will have influence over other Council decisions.
“We now have identified opportunities, so we will be in the position to activate them when the right conditions arrive,” says Cllr Brown.
“There are some low hanging fruit that we can start working on straight away, and there are some really big picture ideas that will need proper planning and processes, and big grants of money.
“We will be ready to lobby for these bigger projects when the opportunity arises because we have done the consultation with the community and tourism operators.”
Amongst the opportunities that can be acted upon in the near term are:
- Calling for expressions of interest to develop an eco-tourism facility on Council land at the old Jerrara Dam
- consolidate, improve and market our walks as a network. Work is already being done on developing walks from Berry and Foxground to Saddleback, and then over to Macquarie Pass, and the Minnamurra Bends boardwalk will fit into the network
- various measures to increase existing wedding and conference market.
The big picture possibilities, championed by the fresh eye of visiting experts, include removing the cabins from Blowhole Point and replacing them with shops and restaurants built into the hill to overlook the harbour.
“We want to activate the current Plan of Management for the harbour, but in the long term we’d like to add another ideal component to it,” says Cllr Brown.
Apart from the cabin area, the Plan picks up the idea of establishing an observatory on the Headland.
Destination Kiama is currently seeking businesses and organisations to join them as partners (formerly members) for 2018/9.
A prospectus is available from the Visitors Centre or http://www.kiama.com.au
The next Tourism After Hours event, at the Kiama Bowling Club on 24 July, 5.30-7.30pm, is free for Destination Kiama Partners (or $25 for non-partners).
Register at eventbrite.com.au or call the Visitors Centre on 4232 3322.
Media Release – Kiama Harbour Cabins – 19 July 2018
Mayor Mark Honey has said Council has no intention to remove the cabins at Kiama Harbour.
Councillor Honey said the new Tourism Opportunity Plan developed by Destination Kiama identified key tourism experiences in the area, as well as ways to sustainably develop these experiences.
“The Tourism Opportunity Plan is about enhancing our iconic attractions, not destroying them, this includes Blowhole Point.”
“Council has a strategic masterplan for our holiday parks, including Kiama Harbour, which has seen the investment of millions of dollars to make them world-class.”
“Tearing down the cabins at Blowhole Point makes as much sense as pulling down our lighthouse.”