Tourism group welcomes Council plan
Peninsula Tourism Partners has welcomed Central Coast Council's adoption of a draft Tourism Opportunity Plan, which aims to boost tourism in the region by $70 million.
Partners president Ms Kim Cole said: "We absolutely love the direction the Council is taking with their Tourism Opportunity Plan to promote the Central Coast Region as a vibrant magnetically attractive place to live, work and visit."
The plan, which aims for the long-term viability and sustainability of tourism for the Central Coast, will soon be on exhibition for public comment.
Among the short term projects identified in the plan are a food and beverage exploration trail; art and sculpture trail; twilight economy; heritage tourism; educational eco hub and indigenous experience; nature-based attractions and experiences such as bike paths, walkways, trails and pathway infrastructure highlighting arts, culture, heritage.
A staff report to the Council said the major challenge to grow the tourism market was to change perceptions about what the Central Coast offered.
The core challenges, according to the report, were an "embedded negative perception problem, monetisation (many activities are low dollar spends such as walking or the beach), depth and range of accommodation, lack of wow factor, low pride-in-place, poorly supported arts, culture and music scene and no night-time economy".
A marketing campaign was underway with a new comprehensive guide of activities, attractions, accommodation, restaurants and retail via a new website.
The report also stated that the region needed a thread to pull the region together in a "brand" which is woven into all marketing and communications to the three target groups of visitors, businesses and residents.
New investment was needed to create new reasons for people to visit, the report says.
This could be achieved through collaborative industry marketing, packaging of products such as accommodation and activities, and building strategic partnerships, for instance tapping into the NSW Food and Wine Tourism Strategy and maximising funding options through The Destination Sydney Surrounds North Destination Management Plan.
Ms Cole said the Peninsula Tourism Partners group was keen to support the plan.
She said there was great incentive for businesses and member of the community to be involved in "1000 Little Things" - small projects that would improve the visitor experience.
"What excites our team the most is that the Council have identified what makes the Central Coast different to other regions," she said.
"Yes, we have beautiful beaches and national parks but what is our point of difference?
"The end result is that we are a region rich of makers and creators: Artists, sculptors, musicians, actors.
"We support these findings and are looking forward in helping Council promote the Central Coast with their new plans."
She said Peninsula Tourism Partners was looking for new and creative ideas to draw in tourists.
Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has encouraged local business owners to join the discussion.
"We're all trying to promote tourism to ensure our local businesses remain successful, and now we are coming together to pool our efforts," Ms Tesch said.
"To do this we need new innovative ideas which is why the Peninsula Tourism Partners and I are calling on business owners and tourism operators to come together so the whole area benefits from the growth."
Ms Tesch said that, despite being the new kids on the block, Peninsula Tourism Partners already had a strong track record in bringing increased tourism to the area.
"With many plans in the works, they have their sights set on making an impact."
Central Coast Council agenda 4.6, 24 Jun 2019
Media Statement, 4 Jul 2019
Kim Cole, Peninsula Tourism Partners
Media Release, 4 Jul 2019
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford