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   Page Last Updated:
 Monday, 30 May 2011
 News>Reps for Regional Tourism   
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Council calls for greater local government presence on tourism boards

Colac Otway Shire Council will write to Tourism Victoria requesting greater local government representation on proposed Regional Tourism Boards.

Council has also agreed to extend its relationships with Geelong Otway Tourism and Otways Tourism for another six months while Tourism Victoria finalises a proposed restructure of regional tourism.

Under the planned restructure, the new Regional Tourism Board would be responsible for improving the supply and quality of tourism experiences, increasing consumer demand and addressing skills, service standards and sustainability of regional tourism.

Mayor Brian Crook said the proposed Great Ocean Road RTB would be the driving force behind regional tourism, and Council believed there should be at least four local government representatives on those boards.

“Council will write to the CEO of Tourism Victoria advocating for double the level of local government representation that is currently proposed,” he said.

“A local government perspective is essential for understanding the tourism industry in the region, and provide a greater level of accountability to the residents and ratepayers that the RTBs represent.”

Cr Crook said local government was expected to be a major financial contributor to the RTBs, and thus needed a high level of involvement at a board level.

He said that while Tourism Victoria finalised the structure of the RTBs, it was important that Council continued to support Geelong Otway Tourism, and Otways Tourism.

Geelong Otway Tourism is responsible for marketing the region to the rest of Victoria and Australia. Once tourists visit the region, Otways Tourism is responsible for marketing the unique features the region provides, as well as providing services to members such as professional development seminars, and promotional collateral.

In the 2010-11 financial year, Council committed $66,426 to Geelong Otway Tourism and $174,574 to Otways Tourism. Continuing Council’s relationship with both tourism bodies until December will cost $60,249 per quarter.

“Geelong Otway Tourism and Otways Tourism fulfil an important role and Council believes it is important to support these organisations while the review into the tourism industry is completed,” Cr Crook said.

May 26, 2011



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