Investing in our tourism
THE report given to councillors on the tourism model last week was a shock and I feel for those who've been working with Clarence River Tourism - it can't be easy to face uncertainty.
When the council goes through its review process, I think it is imperative it doesn't look for cost savings.
Council needs to look at what it spends on tourism as an investment and while the report suggests some of the figures are difficult to prove, there's no doubting the importance of tourism in our local economy.
I'm curious to see whether it will move toward having the council look after tourism in the interests of "efficiency". Perhaps this is an unfair perception, but aren't government projects a bit like weddings - double the cost?
I understand the internet means people book and plan travel differently but being of the "tech generation" and having travelled a fair bit in Australia, you just can't beat walking into a centre and having a smiling local give you that inside information.
This industry is vital to our economic development and whatever model the council decides on, it's imperative it invests well and wisely.