Home Sustainability Candidates respond: On the issue of tourism | Lithgow Mercury

Candidates respond: On the issue of tourism | Lithgow Mercury

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The Lithgow Mercury polled readers on the issues they consider most important in the community. This week, we look at tourism. An email was sent to each ungrouped candidate and each lead candidate in each group on Monday, November 8 asking for their response. Some responses have been edited for length. Candidate Peter Pilbeam did not respond by the deadline. We believe tourism is the sleeping giant which can have a transformative effect on Lithgow accounting for 20 to 30% of the regions economic output in 5 to 10 years. Currently about 530,000 visitors come to Lithgow as tourists.The Transition Working Group report to Council in 2020 predicted that number could grow to 2 million. This equates to a potential $500 million income per annum to the region. Success comes to tourism ventures when Councils and State governments support innovative entrepreneurs. Lithgow will get the full advantage of its tourism potential if: We are in the most enviable position in the Central West with our natural wonders & AMAZING tourist attractions. Our team will be focussing on staying positive where Tourism is concerned, it’s vital we have a Tourism Committee back on the Council Agenda. We will continue welcoming visitors to our area with sporting events, festivals, Ironfest etc, we have to provide reasons for visitors to stay and enjoy what is available. We now will have the jewel in the crown with the 50 million funding provided by the a State Government for the biggest Tourist Attraction in NSW. This will enable groups to work together cohesively for perhaps the first time ever. The Environmental Groups, Coal Mining, Tourism Committees, Colong Foundation, Protection of Animal committees, Aboriginal Groups etc. This should open up opportunities never seen in our region before, let’s work together for change and growth. At a recent Council meeting I was able to move changes to Councils proposed marketing strategy and succeeded in having adopted the branding concept of the Seven Valleys. Not my idea but a great inclusive concept. After nearly forty years in heritage tourism – brand Lithgow just doesn’t cut it with our industry. The Seven Valleys allows a fresh approach to promote the whole LGA and will allow us to differentiate from the Blue Mountains Brand. It will also encourage greater involvement by the tourism sector with council who can assist the industry to establish their own tourism body similar to what occurs in the Blue Mountains. Council then actively support the decisions made by the tourism operators rather than the other way around. Lithgow will continue to grow as one of the more popular visitor destinations in New South Wales. It provides a unique visitor experience, blending our rural settings, the surrounding bushland’ natural beauty, rich industrial and built heritage, arts, festivals, and cultural opportunities. For many, life-enriching opportunities will be part of their visit as they travel through the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people and the opportunities to be guided through and experience their culture. Whether the visits involve camping, caravanning, using farm stays in our valleys, rural villages, or traditional motel accommodation options. All options for visitors are available as part of an extended stay in the Lithgow region. If elected, the Cass Coleman community team will focus on making Lithgow the visitor hub for the Central Tablelands and the Blue Mountains regions. We want visitors to stay in Lithgow and plan their day trips to all the exciting options in our area. Start and finish your visit to the central west in the Lithgow region. We look forward to the reopening of Zig Zag Railway, the ongoing creation of ecotourism, arts, festivals, food/wine, cultural experiences, and business opportunities that display our clean and green agriculture and horticulture through farm stays, local cafes, restaurants, and farmers’ markets. We are a team that has an optimistic view for the future of this unique and beautiful environment that is our home. The Lithgow LGA is well on track to revitalising its tourism footprint with the recent funding announcement of the Gardens of Stone and the Lost City Adventures and new campaigns supporting the Seven Valleys and Destination Pagoda. This is in addition to the many features and attractions that have been in place for many years and are visited by many. However there is an opportunity to improve our tourism presence by upgrading established attraction with better access and amenities such as toilet facilities and rubbish. As councillors, it is essential to work with council administration and dedicated committees and community groups to lift the profile of the LGA, assess tourism proposals and seek funding opportunities from all levels of government. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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