Casino's new Visitor Information Centre.
Casino's new Visitor Information Centre. Susanna Freymark

Bright, young destination officer to promote Richmond Valley

THE new destination officer for the brand new Visitor Information Centre in Casino is only 25.

Navanka Fletcher hails from Glen Innes and with family ties in Casino and Drake, she is ready to promote Richmond Valley to tourists and residents.

"I did my uni business, tourism and hospitality degree at Southern Cross University,” Ms Fletcher said.

The visitor centre smells of new paint and has a map table, and a shelf built by the Casino Men's Shed to display local craft and food items.

"It's all new and positive,” Ms Fletcher said. "It gives us a good starting point for the new promo.”

Navanka Fletcher is the new Richmond Valley Destination Officer at Casino's new Visitor Information Centre.
Navanka Fletcher is the new Richmond Valley Destination Officer at Casino's new Visitor Information Centre. Susanna Freymark

With the promotional tag line of Small Towns, Big Adventures, Richmond Valley Council is gearing up to heavily promote the region.

The development of the Drill Hall site where the visitor centre has been designed to mirror the Military Museum next to it, includes ample parking and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Casino's new Visitor Information Centre ampitheatre.
Casino's new Visitor Information Centre ampitheatre. Susanna Freymark

For the past few years RVC's tourism team has been working on promoting a recognisable Richmond Valley-wide tourism brand, Council's Sharon Davidson said.

"Although not original, we introduced Discover the Richmond Valley, developed a resourceful and device-friendly Richmond Valley tourism website, set up Facebook and Instagram pages, and launched a 100-page visitor guide,” Ms Davidson said.

Promo videos have featured on television and three billboards feature on three main roads - the Summerland Way at Casino, Queen Elizabeth Drive at Coraki, and the Pacific Highway at Woodburn.

"We are looking at history and nature trails to connect the whole of the Richmond Valley,” Ms Davidson said.

One focus is the promotion of the valley to grey nomads to visit for events such as Primex, Beef Week and the Truck Show.

"We also have the opportunity to be part of a regional visitor services space within the new BP Highway Service Centre at West Ballina. More than two million travellers a year are expected to use the BP centre,” Ms Davidson said.

A reprint of the 100-page biennial Richmond Valley Visitors Guide will be out in time for the Christmas-New Year holiday period and 20,000 copies will be distributed across the state.

Woodburn has a new visitors centre and Council is in the process of establishing one at Evans Head on the grounds of the Reflections Holiday Park.

All visitor centres are run by volunteers.

There are 11 volunteers at the new Casino Visitor Information Centre, Ms Fletcher said. Her job includes organising the volunteers for all the centres.

Coraki hasn't been forgotten in the tourism drive.

The Council-owned Coraki Riverside Caravan Park and Camping Grounds has gone through a much-needed makeover in the past six years with Council investing in landscaping the grounds, upgrading the power supply, fixing drainage issues and sealing the internal road, Ms Davidson said.

The park is a mainstay of Coraki's tourism industry, and earlier this year Council received $550,000 from the federal government to build a new amenities block.

Other improvements include a river front pathway, seven new table and chair settings, new barbecue, a retaining wall, and the installation a new pontoon and jetty, as well as an upgrade of the beach area and boat ramp.

It's a lot to take on for the new destination officer but for someone who likes to travel and is into landscape and architect photography, the new role for Ms Fletcher should be a breeze.

Discover the Richmond Valley will focus on

  • Making Casino an RV-friendly town
  • Building on local events
  • Help to establish a public art trail
  • The Northern Rivers Rail Trail with a $3.5 million commitment from the Federal Government for the Casino-to-Bentley section.

OPENING

The official opening of the Casino Visitor Centre is on Thursday October 3 at 3.30pm.

The Woodburn Visitor Information Centre will it is already operational, the official opening is on Monday, October 28 at 10am



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