JOINING forces to promote the Northern Rivers region as a single destination would bring more "bang for your buck" local tourism industry stakeholders were told in Byron Bay yesterday.
The first Destination Byron Tourism Symposium was held at the Byron at Byron resort with Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall the keynote speaker addressing around 100 local tourism operators and industry professionals."
Mr Hall told the conference that Sydney and Melbourne remained untapped tourism markets with huge potential for the region.
"Earlier this year we announced increased flying on the Ballina-Byron-Melbourne route, delivering an additional 40,000 seats a year in and out of the region," Mr Hall said.
"This represents a big vote of confidence in all the region's attractions and has the potential to bring substantial benefits to the local economy.
Mr Hall said that even with the extra seats, the market response had been only been "good rather than exceptional", and he hoped the upcoming school holidays would boost sales and that momentum could continue through the rest of winter and into spring.
"Now we've delivered these extra flights, it's important that all of us - from tourism bodies to local operators to the airport - work together to promote this great destination and all it has to offer in the Melbourne and Sydney markets," he said.
The symposium, organised by the freshly rebadged Destination Byron (formerly VIA Byron) industry group also heard from speakers on the issue of dispersing tourists from Byron Bay throughout the shire and larger region; how to attract tourists before and after events for longer stays and looked at how events and festivals are spread throughout the year.
Other speakers included Mouche Phillips from the What's on Byron website; Belinda Novicky from Legendary Pacific Coast; Sarah Workman from Byron Shire Council and Russell Mills.