TOURISM bodies Scenic Rim Escapes and Scenic Rim Tourism will amalgamate to help create a unified voice for the region’s tourism operators.
Scenic Rim Escapes president Kay Tommerup said the decision was voted on unanimously by both bodies’ members at a meeting held on July 31.
The two incorporated associations have three months to follow steps set by the Office of Fair Trading, with a constitution to be drafted for the yet-to-be created Destination Scenic Rim.
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Ms Tommerup said both parties’ were convinced to join by travel and tourism consultancy group EarthCheck, who were commissioned earlier this year to make the case.
In a presentation by EarthCheck to both groups, it was stated the amalgamated body would help double the region’s tourism sector’s annual worth to $300 million by 2022, through promoting the region’s agricultural, culinary, nature, adventure and cultural-based tourism experiences.
The revenue target was aligned with Scenic Rim Regional Council’s 2017-2021 tourism strategy plan.
Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen said he commended both groups for voting to join.
“This outcome is about industry operators working together to grow the tourism pie so that everyone gets a larger slice,” he said.
“This change will see a reduction in the duplication of efforts between local areas through the pooling of ideas and resources to achieve a greater focus on win-win outcomes.”
The group’s core focus would be to sell Scenic Rim experiences to visitors based within a two-hour drive, with advertising of the region to residents in the Sunshine Coast and northern New South Wales, and to overseas tourists.
Ms Tommerup said members from both groups were excited about the amalgamation, which would ensure a stronger voice for operators, reduced administrative fees and a united Scenic Rim branding message.
She said she hoped Destination Scenic Rim branding would be progressed in time for next year’s Gold Coast-based Commonwealth Games, to capitalise on the influx of visitors expected for the international sporting event.
More than 100 business operators will be represented by Destination Scenic Rim, which includes the region-wide scattering of Scenic Rim Escape members and Scenic Rim Tourism members based within the Boonah and Rathdowney regions.
Ms Tommerup said three websites promoting the region would be reduced to two.
The second website, run by Tamborine Mountain Chamber of Commerce, would continue – Ms Tommerup said the group decided to remain a seperate tourism body to continue their promotion focused solely on Tamborine Mountain.