Tweed blow to local tourism
By DAWN COHEN
NORTHERN Rivers Tourism has been rocked by the resignation of a key Tweed partner.
TACTIC, representing Tweed and Coolangatta tourism, wrote to the government-funded organisation two weeks ago withdrawing its membership, without giving any reasons.
This followed the formation of a separate Ballina Tourism group three months ago representing private operators.
Northern Rivers Tourism Board member Jenny Massie, from the Clarence Valley Tourism Association, said her board was disappointed, but not shocked.
"We knew TACTIC was undergoing a review of its direction, so we partly expected it," she said.
"We will write back to TACTIC in February and we will encourage them to reconsider.
"We will still be working with the Tweed tourism operators."
While Northern Rivers Tourism welcomes the formation of Ballina Tourism, the new Ballina association is less enthusiastic about the government body.
Ballina Tourism interim chairman Rick Mowle said: "The public sector tourism organisations don't hit hard enough.
"They focus on awareness. We want to increase demand.
"They do a soft sell. We want a hard sell.
"But we want to work together with the public sector to bring our vision to reality."
Julie Burton, from the executive office of Northern Rivers Tourism, said the Northern Rivers already had high tourist demand.
"More tourists visit the Northern Rivers than the Northern Territory or Tasmania," she said.
"We want them to stay longer and spend more, exploring our hinterland as well as the coastal areas."