Council Led tourism board gets green light

Broken Hill Tourism Board

Broken Hill City Council (BHCC) has decided to revive a Council-led tourism board after a unanimous decision was reached to set-up a member-based, not-for-profit organisation aimed at strengthening the local tourism sector.

The move comes out of a proposal and business case developed by General Manager Jay Nankivell to detail the feasibility and likely advantages of such an organisation.

The concept would see the formation of an incorporated association, which would include representatives from key tourism stakeholders and local businesses.

While similar groups have existed in the past, they have since been abandoned because they have  failed to meet the necessary committee guidelines or there’s been a lack of community interest.

The Silver City has seen several local tourism organisations since 2015. And in March 2002, the Broken Hill Regional Tourist Association (BHRTA) was formed as what’s called a Section 355 Committee under the Local Government Act. Until 2007, the BHRTA was a hybrid BHCC committee and semi‐incorporated body, charged mainly with overseeing the Broken Hill Visitor Information Centre.

Mayor Tom Kennedy says he views the group as essential and is eager to reinstate it.

“It was a really good group that had thousands of members. There was only one or two businesses in town that weren’t members of the Tourist Association,” he says.

“We want to bring it back because when you have a membership base of many thousands of people, you almost always get it right because there is a lot of buy-in from the community.”

In its prime, the Broken Hill Regional Tourism Association saw up to 20 people vying for a spot on the committee. The group decided which promotional materials were used, including a Broken Hill brochure distributed state-wide.

Mayor Kennedy told us, “it was a leading example in not only New South Wales, but the whole of Australia on how to operate tourism within a regional centre. They’re the sorts of things that happened when that body was going and that’s the envisaged hope for this new group.”

Enhancing Broken Hill’s tourism is a top priority for the mayor. He believes it not only benefits visitors to the Silver City but also boosts the local community. He emphasised the importance of creating events locals look forward to and how tourism could contribute to making Broken Hill an attractive place to live, while also supporting local businesses such as cafes and motels.

Cllr Kennedy hopes to have the new group operational within the next three to six months.

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