Welcome to this week’s editorial, What is in a name? Well quite a lot really if you want to be a BRAND. And Eurobodalla needs a new brand. Why, because no-one knows where it is for a start.
Ask anyone outside of Eurobodalla to point to it on a map and you've got Buckleys. Winter is upon us and we locals are well aware that winter is pretty mild here with mostly sunny days that are delightful if you can find a spot out of the wind. The days are perfect for walking, exploring and for those who are active it is perfect weather for cycling, hiking and kayaking. Winter to us locals is actually a pretty nice time of year. Look at today as an example—18C and perfect. But winter does have a down side as it sees our main industry of tourism grind to a halt and those in our local community who depend on tourism are forced into hibernation, hopefully having made enough during the boom summer months to tide them over until Spring comes around. So what keeps tourists away from the South Coast over winter? This and many other questions are now being asked of Eurobodalla Tourism as they ponder on what BRAND to consider next to draw the visitors south away from the North Coast, Queensland and the other Australian states and icons. Back in days of old they came up with “Nature Coast” but that became fairly tired and it turns out that pretty much the whole Eastern seaboard is the nature coast. So they thought … ahh, but we are the unspoilt nature coast so they jumped on the bandwagon of the #unspoilt hashtag and co-marketed it with Shoalhaven and the Sapphire Coast. #unspoilt was a terrific campaign that drew a lot of attention…. to the Shoalhaven … but alas for the cousins further south it did very little. How about food trails? Well maybe the Oyster Trail and the Oyster Festival but that isn’t enough on its own and EVERYWHERE has food trails …. and most have oysters So now Eurobodalla Tourism is back to the drawing board to come up with a new BRAND that will give them an edge. Amazingly though they disbanded the local tourism advisory committee with experienced local tourism representatives and have instead decided on out of town consultants to look at the brand, the image, the logo and the destination marketing plan that will bring new visitors to the region. Recently they bought in Western Australian consultants to advise on a tourism signage strategy and had to first advise the consultants that NSW has different sign regulations to WA. After the Singapore Airline announcement that it would fly direct to Canberra Eurobodalla anticipated that there would be a great influx of Chinese visitors (probably anticipating a need for tourism signs to be bi-lingual) but that fell flat on its face because “the Chinese didn’t come”. So now it is back to considering what EDGE do we actually have down here that no-one else has. Presently the backroom discussions are that we have nature and lots of unspoilt nature and that we should market that—maybe a good campaign slogan might be “Come visit how Australia used to be” . That is actually what Australians and foreign visitors do want to see. We live in the bush surrounded by amazing wildlife and incredible natural beauty. It is understood that they are considering promoting glamping and tiny houses, wilderness walks, cultural tours and farm stops. “South East NSW —pristine Australia as it used to be” might encourage prospective visitors to think we are more than seals, beaches and oysters. In the meantime we await with interest how Eurobodalla Tourism plans to rebrand itself and spend the $1.5million annual budget they have to promote the area and to assist in supporting year round sustainable employment. Until next Lei