New campaign to build year-round tourism numbers in the Snowies

BY the time this goes to print, I will have had almost two weeks in my new role as Executive Officer (EO) for Tourism Snowy Mountains (TSM). I've found so far that there's a lot to learn and much to do.

TSM is currently in a transition phase. There's a new Board of Directors, a new Chairperson and a new EO that are fully committed to: building on the iconic Snowy Mountains brand to make our region the destination of choice for holiday-makers; revitalising community confidence in the organisation; developing a funding program that makes TSM self-sufficient and implementing quality marketing campaigns that attracts year-round visitation.

These are TSM's short to medium-term intentions that I'll be working on with the Board and is reflected in the sentiments of new Chair Peter Cochran, "My plan is to give TSM greater exposure, make it more accountable and encourage more community input."

A key challenge for TSM is to draw attention to the diversity and attractiveness of each the four local government areas that we represent. TSM currently has two Regional Visitor Economy Fund applications with Destination NSW awaiting approval.

The plan is, subject to this funding approval by DNSW and stakeholder contributions, to implement in 2014 and 2015 a new winter marketing campaign to help grow first timer/beginner snow experiences and new spring, summer, autumn campaigns designed to create awareness and demand for regional visitation during the non-winter periods.

An integrated marketing program is envisaged that will see website upgrades and improvements, online, social, TV, radio and print media activities, collectively executed to deliver measurable results.

Combined, these new campaigns aim to increase the overall number of leisure seekers coming to our region, providing more consistency of trading for local business year-round that will help stimulate better product development, service provision, employment prospects and overall economic growth to the region in the long-term.

Tourism in the Snowy Mountains contributes 17 per cent to our regional economy; we host around 1.2 million people per year who spend roughly $500 million, so, the benefits of tourism are obviously significant.

To achieve future growth and improvement, in the long run, we need vibrant and active tourism advocacy. With community collaboration, I hope that TSM can be the driving force in making our region the number one regional destination in NSW.

As I mentioned there is much to do, and, as with all non-for-profit organisations, available resources can dictate the amount of good ideas that can be initiated. I firmly believe though that over time, TSM will achieve very positive outcomes for our region, building on the excellent work already done.

Make sure to join us at: www.Facebook.com/snowymountains or if you have a regional event that you'd like to share on the TSM website, please send details to: tsm@snowymountains.com.au.

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