Local News

Grafton hosts 2022 Tourism Symposium

The breathtaking beauty, unique history, charismatic charm and unparalleled attractions of the Clarence Valley were proudly exhibited at the 2022 Destination North Coast Tourism Symposium on July 28.

Co-Hosted by Clarence Valley Council (CVC) and Destination North Coast, the event welcomed more than 150 regional stakeholders, local tourism industry representatives and experts, strategists and special guests to the Saraton Theatre in Grafton last week, to discuss, identify, consider, and overcome issues, ideas, opportunities and challenges impacting tourism throughout the region, following a tumultuous period including bushfires, droughts, floods, and a global pandemic. 

This year, the theme of the event was Evolution for Success, which aimed to stimulate a strategic outlook for the tourism sector across the North Coast region.

Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government recognises the significant value that the regions provide to the state’s visitor economy, and the knowledge gained and shared at the event would ensure NSW continues to offer “the best of the best” for years to come and futureproof the visitor economy.

Describing tourism as the lifeblood of many regional communities, the Minister revealed the NSW Government is working to rebuild the state’s visitor economy, the largest in the country, and grow it to $65 billion by 2030, delivering their vision to become the premier visitor economy of the Asia-Pacific region.

During the 2022 Destination North Coast Tourism Symposium, presentations from the Manager of Cultural, Community and Industry Justin Putze, Destination North Coast General Manager Michael Thurston, and Clarence Coast Holiday Parks Officer Maryanne Bristow highlighted many great reasons why the Clarence Valley is a fantastic destination for tourists.

Upon arrival, attendees received gift bags filled with local products and offers from Clarence Valley businesses.

Female inmates at the Clarence Correction Centre demonstrated their Certificate II in Hospitality skills by creating a tasting box for morning tea, using local and native ingredients from the North Coast to make a wattle seed and chocolate brownie, lemon myrtle cheesecake, and quandong peach and macadamia baklava, which received plenty of positive praise from the appreciative crowd.

Following the 2022 Destination North Coast Tourism Symposium, an Awards Gala Dinner was held at The Barn at the Grafton Showground, to recognise local tourism heroes from the North Coast, including Clarence Distillery and Bar, who were presented with a Local Hero Award.