Via Byron board member Kim Dowling with president Cameron Arnold. Photo Jeff Dawson
Hot on the heels of the debate about the Bay’s tourism-associated problems, Byron Shire’s business chambers, visitor centres and Council have formed a single new visitor industry association, to be known as VIA Byron.
And to kick it off, a new marketing campaign will be launched next Tuesday February 12 at the Byron Community Centre from 5pm, where businesses are invited to take part in the promotion.
VIA Byron aims to promote sustainable tourism within the Byron Shire for the economic benefit of the region, and is working in association with Destination NSW as part of the Regional Tourism Partnership Program. The campaign is planned from March to June 2013.
Cameron Arnold, owner of Apartments Inn Byron Bay and president of VIA Byron, said that collaboration is extremely important to ensure marketing for the Byron Shire is done in a responsible, ethical and sustainable way.
‘This campaign is incredibly exciting for the Byron shire; never before has such a collaboration for a marketing campaign of this kind been implemented,’ Mr Arnold said.
‘We are pulling together knowledge, resources and expertise from around the entire shire and have developed a campaign that will promote the Byron shire during the quieter winter periods’.
The VIA Byron board includes representatives from Byron United, Holiday Letting Organisation, Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre and Chamber of Commerce, Byron Visitor Centre, Ocean Shores Business Ashored, Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce, Bangalow Chamber of Commerce and Byron Shire Council.
Businesses from Byron Shire are invited to the launch and will be presented with packages they can invest into to be part of the $160,000 campaign, which targets visiting friends and relatives, southeast Queensland residents, event attendees and the international market.
Owner of Byron Beach Café and treasurer of VIA Byron, Ben Kirkwood, said this campaign is a great opportunity for all businesses in the Byron Shire to market their businesses throughout winter and see results.
‘The packages are set up in a way to facilitate inclusion for all local businesses, large or small, at a very reasonable and attractive cost,’ Mr Kirkwood says. ‘We are targeting the markets that we will feel will most benefit the Byron shire community as a whole’.