Bega Valley Shire Council is allocating $60,000 to a 12-week marketing campaign to attract visitors to the area and strongly encourage a ‘buy local’ sentiment.
Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing will oversee the campaign.
The funding was announced during a meeting in Bega this week with key tourism representatives, Council’s economic development team and the region’s Chambers of Commerce from Bermagui, Cobargo, Tathra, Bega, Pambula, Merimbula and Eden.
Mayor, Cr Kristy McBain said that the message is clear - we want your business, come spend your money here.
Photograph: Council’s Dan Murphy, Mayor Kristy McBain, Anthony Osborne from Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing and Sean Haylan from Destination Southern NSW.
“A much more resilient Bega Valley will come from this in terms of how we position our businesses, what industries we attract to the area and how we market ourselves in the future; I was very buoyed by what was said in the room today,” said Cr McBain.
Cr McBain stressed that locals can have a significant impact through the ‘Buy Regional’ campaign.
“It’s the local people who are driving this forward,” she said.
Bega Valley’s economy was high on the list when the Mayor met with Bega MP Andrew Constance and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro this week.
“I am making sure that any decisions have Bega Valley front and centre – that’s my goal, that the Bega Valley is right up there in the thinking of the State government,” Cr McBain said.
Anthony Osborne, General Manager of Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing, said that the marketing campaign will focus around mitigating the impact of the bushfires, respecting the grief in our communities and aiming for a “full-house” for the autumn school holidays.
“There are plenty of things to see and do here and many of our coastal villages are still strong, we’ll encourage people to reactivate their summer holiday and with the Victorian road closures, we’ll highlight alternate routes to the Sapphire Coast.
“The campaign will be respectful, specific about what is available, and honest about what’s happened here – this is a chance for our regular visitors to come back, have a good time but also give back to a place they love to visit.
“The autumn school holidays and the Easter break will be a key focus and we’ll work towards full capacity for our tourist operators then,” explained Mr Osborne.
The Bega Valley Economic Development Group will continue to meet weekly, reinforcing that a collaborative Shire-wide approach will be key for the business community to develop strategies to combat the ongoing effects of drought and bushfire.
Find out more in this brief video