Summit shows the future is bright for Redlands tourism

The importance of tourism to the local economy was today highlighted during a summit attended by more than 100 tourism operators at Sirromet Winery.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams addressed the summit and highlighted the vital role tourism operators played in attracting investment to the city.

“As an industry we have all known for some time that the Redlands has plenty to offer visitors and now that message is helping to attract even more people to our city who bring important economic opportunity,” she said.

“Industry events like this are a great way to reinforce our commitment to collaboratively showcasing the Redlands as a tourism hotspot, while at the same time ensuring tourism operators have the support they need.”

During the summit Cr Williams updated industry representatives on the progress Council had made against its tourism action plan and outlined what was expected over the next 12 months.

“Since we adopted the Redland City Tourism Strategy and Action Plan 2015–2020 last June we have made considerable progress.

“This includes growing the city’s reputation as an events hotspot and location of choice for filming Hollywood blockbusters with us playing host to big names like Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

“In January this year, Council increased by $400,000 the incentives available through its Cleveland CBD and tourism accommodation incentive packages.

“With the original stimulus all but expended 18 months ahead of schedule, it shows incentives such as development application fee concessions are working in generating investment opportunities and jobs for Redlanders.

“We have also kicked goals in making the Redlands a location of choice for domestic visitors by launching local RV dump points.

“These achievements are a combined effort and thanks to the collaboration we are seeing within the industry, which is vital to the growth of the local tourism sector.”

Cr Williams said last week’s announcement that sand mining would end on North Stradbroke Island would see tourism play a larger role in the economy.

“With the State Government confirming last week that sand mining would end on North Stradbroke Island by the end of 2019, the future of tourism has never been more important in supporting our local economy,” she said.

“Tourism has long been touted as the industry to sustain Straddie and the wider Redlands economy and Council is committed to working with the tourism industry to ensure the foundations are in place for a strong and sustainable industry.”

The summit also heard from leaders in tourism and business including Mark Olsen of EarthCheck Consulting, Daniel Gschwind CEO, Queensland Tourism Industry Council and Samantha Kennedy, Chair of Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board.

Cr Williams also used the summit to announce the latest member of the Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board – Terry Morris Chair of Morris International, managers of several Australian companies including Redlands’ own Sirromet Winery.

“Mr Morris has more than 50 years’ experience in Australian commercial life and heads up a company that has created jobs for more than 800 people,” she said.

“He brings a wealth of knowledge to this board across a variety of industries including tourism, biotechnologies and of course hospitality.

“He will join the other board members in supporting local business by delivering the Redland City Economic Development Framework 2014–2041.

“The experience of this board combined with the enthusiasm and passion of local tourism operators shows the future of local tourism is in good hands.”