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Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

Byron Bay Visitor Centre

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Comment: Bridging the flooded divide

In the sodden floodplains the divide among those affected has never been clearer – those who were insured, and those who weren’t, renters and owners, Lismore LGA and everywhere else.

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Celebrating its 14th birthday this month, the Byron Visitor Centre, located in the old Stationmaster’s cottage behind the main bus stop in Byron Bay, receives more than a quarter of a million enquiries per year. The Byron Visitor Centre educates and encourages our visitors to stay longer through identifying the visitors’ needs, converting the enquiries into bookings and generating more referrals for local accommodation and tour operators. According to Jill Kelly, who recently joined the team as manager the Byron Visitor Centre, ‘we are focused on introducing the destinations stories, so visitors can more fully understand the experiences, and identify which services would add value to their holiday experience within the region’.

‘It’s amazing how things have changed since 1997. We have moved from a pure information centre to a fully-fl edged booking agent employing 10 people. We keep people in jobs, upskill volunteers, create family opportunities to help provide training and enthusiasm about our local products and services.’ The Byron Visitor Centre is a Level One accredited VIC with Tourism New South Wales, receives four times the regional average number of visitors compared to other VICs, and three times the state average. All the staff work hard throughout the year to connect local businesses with the hundreds of customers each day who access the service, and they ensure that members’ products are well represented.

Jill Kelly is proud of the BVC’s achievements considering the current economic situation and added, ‘It’s not just about numbers, it’s about consistent, friendly, accurate service, and I am working hard to improve the way we run this centre and promote our members’ services.’ Servicing an average of 600 people per day, the BVC is the only Level One accredited centre not funded by local government. As a not-for-profi t association, revenue is raised from membership, commission and retail sales. Member businesses can display their brochures in the Centre, as well as having a micro-site on the BVC’s website. Membership is available for businesses wishing to promote themselves from the centre of the Byron Bay community. Through becoming a member you gain the opportunity to deliver your products and services to thousands of people a year, and all businesses are welcome to apply.

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