A Talking Future Tourism campaign was launched by Council at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market on Friday, with the aim to develop a new ten-year tourism management plan.
But before the Byron Shire Sustainable Visitation Strategy is drafted, locals are invited for ‘a six week, in-depth conversation about how tourism should be managed’.
Byron Council’s acting mayor Michael Lyon says, ‘It’s no secret that Council, and the community, have been struggling to keep up with the impact of ever-growing visitor numbers over the last decade.’
Two million visitors
‘Last year more than two million people came to Byron Shire – the numbers are staggering’.
‘The question is – what do we want the next 10 years to look like?’
‘This is a big, complex and often emotive topic and that’s why we’ve prepared a kitchen table handbook which allows our community to deeply understand the facts and figures relevant to the tourism industry and also provides in-depth commentary on six key topics.’
Topics covered include Tourism in Byron Shire: the Facts, Figures and Trends, Economy and Infrastructure, and Benefits and Impacts; Culture: Maintaining the Vibe and Our Unique Environment; Events: Local, Emerging, Celebrations and Global Festivals; and Short-Term Rental Accommodation (Holiday Letting).
Following this community consultation process, the findings and recommendations will be presented to a group of 35 randomly selected residents in a Community Solutions Panel (CSP) who will then recommend a vision and prioritise actions to inform the strategy development.
Staff say the draft will be authored by August 2019 and placed on public exhibition for comments in September/October. ‘The draft strategy will go to a Council meeting for adoption in late 2019’.
Council’s kitchen table discussion handbook is available from www.byron.nsw.gov.au or from the Mullum chambers.