Coralie Bell, Tourism Manager at Shoalhaven City Council was announced as the new Chair of the Board for Australian Regional Tourism (ART) at their annual conference in the Tweed at the end of October. ART is the peak national body representing regional tourism practitioners and acts as a hub for collaboration, cooperation, ideas generation, knowledge sharing, and networking.
Coralie’s experience as Tourism Manager in the Shoalhaven over the last three years has held her in great stead for this leadership role, guiding the organisation and uniting, often remote regional tourism members with one another to help make a strong and sustainable industry.
Coralie Bell “Tourism is Australia’s biggest export behind Coal and Ore, but is not without it’s challenges. State and Regional Tourism Organisation, Local Government Areas and tourism operators struggle with similar issues in reginal Australia – development of agritourism, International visitor dispersal, infrastructure challenges, the availability of adequate research and data, skills shortages, sustainability, visitor centers and much more.”
“ART play a critical role in promoting sustainable regional industry development to help our regional communities support jobs all year round through regionally focused research, assisting areas with best practice in destination management, and assisting at a National level with product development, Agritourism is a key industry we are working on helping move forward ” Coralie said.
The Shoalhaven, located on the East Coast of NSW, is the most visited Local Government Area in NSW and has had significant growth estimated over 40% in the shoulder and off season over the past few years, a key strategic driver to the region supporting jobs all year round. The region are working on paving a new way forward in sustainable tourism destination managing, soon to launch a new model to rethink how we define sucess in tourism across the region.
On behalf of its members, ART advocates for sustainable regional development and amplifies key messages to government, other industries and industry sectors, researchers, educators and the public.
Outgoing Chair Simon McArthur congratulates Coralie on her appointment. “I couldn’t be happier to welcome Coralie and our new board members to ART, we are very lucky to have such a skilled and qualified volunteer board. Regional tourism needs people with passion to tackle the challenges and unite our industry.”
“We are an ambitious organisation and I have some big shoes to fill. This year we have already launched a paper on Agritourism, a new Tourism Hub for forums and networking, held a convention with record attendance numbers and are working to develop a national tourism paper for local government. We look forward to getting more Local Government Organisations on board and also continuing our work in the agritourism space.” said the new Chair, Coralie Bell.