Support for events to help recovery

The Merimbula Jazz Festival was one of the events which had to be cancelled this year.
The Merimbula Jazz Festival was one of the events which had to be cancelled this year.

A new tourism recovery initiative - the Tourism Events Recovery Coordination Program - has started.

The program is designed to drive increased event visitation and establish improved diversity and resilience within the local visitor economy. The initiative is funded under the joint Commonwealth - NSW Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Local destination marketing agency The Destination Agency was awarded the 12 month contract to deliver the program following a competitive tender process.

The Destination Agency also manage the Sapphire Coast Tourism Marketing Services Contract.

Stage one of the program has started with a call to industry to register for the consultation process. The Destination Agency's managing director, Anthony Osborne, said they were now calling on all events managers, committees or anyone who has an event planned on the Sapphire Coast to register for the consultation phase.

''Stage one of the program is an audit of our event industry, to identify best areas of opportunity to use events in assisting in tourism recovery. The Tourism Events Recovery Coordination Program will focus on how we can support and grow events that will bring overnight visitors into the Sapphire Coast," Mr Osborne said.

"This is 100 per cent about building overnight visitation and developing our shoulder and low seasons. We will quickly review the industry to look for areas where we can make positive impact. Stage one will be a speedy, thorough process, and it commences now.''

Council's economic development manager, Daniel Murphy, highlighted the project having two stages given the unknowns of COVID19 and its devastating impact on events within our region.

"Stage one will enable us to build the framework that will support the Stage 2 implementation, bearing in mind the restrictions of COVID19," Mr Murphy said.

"Stage two will see signature events and those with strengths to develop, identified in stage one, will receive critical support including expert marketing advice. We are mindful of the quickly changing landscape so are getting to work on the development plan immediately, which we envisage will be a six week process.

"At the completion of stage one we will have clearly identified how and where we can provide support for the stage two implementation phase, with the entire program aimed at rebuilding the shire's tourism industry - an industry well placed to support our community's recovery journey."

For more information contact Sapphire Coast Destination Marketing's Amanda Heather on 0407 191 142 or email