More than 200 NSW councillors, council staff and industry representatives will converge on Southern Cross University's Lismore campus this week for a conference aimed at helping communities capitalise on tourism opportunities.
The University will host the 2008 NSW Local Government Tourism Conference, themed 'Partnerships: Sharing the risks and benefits', in co-operation with its regional partners Lismore City, Richmond Valley and Kyogle councils from 12-14 March.
“The conference is designed to help councils and their communities make the most of their tourism activities and this year’s program focuses on councils, businesses and community groups working together,” said President of the Local Government Association of NSW, Councillor Genia McCaffery.
President of the Shires Association of NSW, Councillor Bruce Miller, said councils were increasingly aware of the significant economic and social benefits of encouraging and promoting tourism.
“Case studies and presentations at this year’s conference will focus on opportunities for tourism, attracting conferences, and the impacts of tourism on regions,” he said. “The conference also gives councillors a chance to discuss relevant local issues with the Minister for Tourism, and for council staff and industry representatives to work out how they can help each other.”
Head of the Office of Regional Engagement at Southern Cross University, Ros Derrett, said the conference further consolidated regional partnerships the University had developed with the region’s councils. Joint research initiatives, student internship programs, field trips, mentoring, scholarships, professional development short courses for council staff, policy advice and co-operative community development projects are some of the progressive ways that the University has been collaborating with local councils in recent years.
“The conference also represents an opportunity for some of our campus colleagues who work with local government, including environmental science staff and staff from the Graduate College of Management, to enhance their relationships and reveal the University’s true potential for outreach work,” Ros said.
The NSW Minister for Tourism, Matt Brown, Executive Director of Tourism NSW, John O’Neill, Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark and a number of lecturers from the University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management will speak at the conference.
Southern Cross University student ambassadors will also conduct tours of the Lismore campus and third-year and honours students from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management will attend the final day’s sessions.
Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.