Ecotourism set to boom on coast

NATURE tourism could boom on the Coffs Coast, following the formation of a co-operative that will showcase the region's ecotourism opportunities to the world.

The Highlands to Hinterlands Tourism Co-operative is aimed at tourist operators and related businesses wanting to market ecotourism products and services.

The co-operative is the next stage of development in a Federally-funded Ausindustry project which already includes $250,000 worth of marketing to attract new visitors to Dorrigo, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour.

New England Ecotourism is the sponsor of the new co-operative and president Glen Chapman said this is an exciting phase for nature-based tourism in the entire region.

“The development of the co-operative is to focus on benefits for operators and new businesses wishing to capitalise on the region's wonderful resources and to gain from the $0.5 million investment made in this project,” Mr Chapman said.

“With an estimated $50,000 already invested in prepaid advertising which co-operative members can benefit from, for an investment, each member will be able to access market research undertaken for the project, as well.”

Some of the current activities include advertising in metropolitan newspapers and magazines, as well as cinema advertising.

Mr Chapman said feedback from the advertising is already attracting new visitors to the region who are seeking unique and nature based experiences.

New England Ecotourism will showcase its marketing at its AGM today at the Armidale Ex-Services Club.

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