$250,000 boost for tourism

TOURISM on the Northern Rivers is about to receive a $250,000 boost with Minister for the North Coast Don Page to announce nine new tourism initiatives at a forum in Byron Bay next week.

Seven regional tourism operators have been granted funding, via a competitive process co-ordinated by Northern Rivers Tourism, which will also co-ordinate two further projects covering the region.

"I am delighted to announce this funding which will go directly to tourism operators to help realise some very innovative projects," Mr Page said.

"These projects will bring many benefits and will help to increase visitor expenditure in the North Coast."

Sharing in the funding are Byron Community Centre ($29,000) to upgrade conference facilities, Byron Kombi Orientation Tours ($36,000) to offer tours around Byron Shire and Byron Bay Farmstay ($13,000) to build a mountain bike trail.

More than $10,000 will go to developing Aboriginal cultural tours in the Richmond Valley, $35,000 for a new regional airport shuttle between Casino and Lismore and $40,000 for Coastal Indigenous Cultural Experiences on the Tweed Coast.

Eco Cruises and Kayaking Tours in Brunswick Heads will get $36,000.

A further $25,000 will be set aside for the development of up to three tourism packages and $25,000 will be set aside to develop new themed tourist trails, including the best of the Northern Rivers arts, creativity, markets, food and nature-based experiences.

Tourism Minister George Souris said the funding aimed to increase regional tourism.

"The overall aim is to expand the number and diversity of visitor attractions and experiences available," he said.

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