Merger voted down

NAMBUCCA Valley tourist operators have voted overwhelmingly against amalgamating with Coffs Harbour tourism.

Nambucca Valley Tourism Association president Rob Kennedy said there had been a lot of talk and the time had come to put the vote to the members.

“We gave our members all the information and then left it to them,” Mr Kennedy said.

“It was their decision to keep our autonomy, 49 to 14.”

Mr Kennedy said he had been concerned amalgamation could drive a wedge between local operators.

“Nambucca tourism is doing well – our visitation is growing by five or six per cent each month. Our operators are happy and we want to be able to concentrate on servicing our customers and looking to the future.”

He stressed however, the last thing the NVTA wanted was to sever ties with Coffs Coast tourism.

“We have always got on well in the past. We understand Coffs is the gateway to the region but we didn’t want to lose being masters of our own destiny.”

Mr Kennedy said Nambucca Shire wanted to leave its hand open to deal with tourism opportunities coming from both the Macleay and the New England Tablelands.

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