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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Moruya Town & Visitor Information Centre @ Moruya Books

The Moruya Town & Visitor Information Centre has OPENED at the Pop-Up shopfront in Moruya Books, Church Street, Moruya. The Moruya Business Chamber initiative aims to promote businesses and tourism in the Moruya area & offer information on WHAT TO DO while in Moruya while giving the Moruya Business Chamber a physical address. The Chamber invites locals to call in and leave your business cards or any information about upcoming events welcoming comments and input. Council currently provide two standalone, purpose built Visitor Information Centres at Batemans Bay and Narooma and a brochure rack display in the Moruya Library. Many in Moruya might remember when Council had a dedicated Visitor Info centre in Church Street that occupied the space after the old Moruya Library moved. There has long been a void of local information for visitors with the removal of tourism information from the town and the self serve DL racks at the library, with its limited opening hours have added to the dis-service and promotion of local businesses. In Council's 2014 Visitor Information Centre (VIC) Service Review: Changing visitor behaviour, growing technological demands, increasing expenses,decreasing revenue and ageing infrastructure have all contributed to the need for Council to determine the most appropriate role and function of a Visitor Information Centres (VICs) to ensure relevance to visitors, the tourism industry and local community. Traditionally, visitors have used VICs to obtain information, advice and recommendations on what to see and do while in an area via brochures, directories, face to face and phone enquiries. However, technology has changed the way people source and use information as well as who can provide that information. This has meant that that less people are physically visiting a VIC and or using the VIC specific booking service. There has been a decline in door counts (down 30 per cent from 2009-10) and a rise in digital contact (emails and website). Eurobodalla is not unique in this trend. Many visitors are now using websites, mobile devices and other technologies to research a destination prior to a visit and when there. A contributing factor to the decline in physical visitation to a VIC is the steady uptake of online booking, currently at a rate of over 40 per cent per annum For 2012-13 the foot traffic into the VICs accounted for 5 per cent of total visitors to the Eurobodalla. Combining all forms of visitation, i.e. door counts, phone and email, this percentage increases slightly to 6 per cent. As a consequence of the above, revenue generated from the VICs is declining. The main revenue sources for the VICs include commission on accommodation and tour bookings and the sale of souvenirs. Based on the review Council decided to privatise its visitor centres and the first one to go was the Narooma Visitors Centre. The Montague Arts and Crafts Society (MACS) has now taken over the Narooma Visitor Information Centre after winning the tender to operate the facility. In recent months there has been a groundswell of local business people looking very closely at the effectiveness of Eurobodalla Tourism and its performance, comparing its budget to its outcomes and now wishing to open the current model up to transparent reporting of its data to establish if the model of promoting the three major centres is working and has proven itself by analysis.

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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