Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

September 25th 2008
Call for new MI Tourism body

Mr Colin Foley calls for a new Local Tourism body Following a brain storming meeting on Monday afternoon, when Townsville City Council's Economic Management Unit visited Magnetic Island, a meeting to organise a new Magnetic Island Local Tourism Organisation was called for and is now planned for Pepper's Conference Room at 5.45pm on Monday September 29.

The meeting with the TCC team, who were accompanied by the Island's nominated Councillor Terry McCahill and Sustainability Manager, Greg Bruce, was, remarkable for revealling just how much the challenge to change direction in the face of global warming has filtered into the language of our local government.

Mr Andrew McEwen, TCC Economic Development Manager said that competition, globally, for cities like Townsville would be based on regional energy autonomy and low greenhouse gas emissions. He talked of future prospects of powering industry with hot rock technology, lowering energy costs by putting jobs closer to worker's neighbourhoods and, of course, the much mentioned Solar City initiative.

In Magnetic Island's case, and the tourism industry in particular, locals were urged to work and together and collaborate on a greater scale as had been successfully tried with Geelong's G21 program (click here)

The meeting, which included about 40 local business people, soon moved towards a Zing brain-storming workshop. At each table were up to six participants who would raise ideas in response to basic questions such as: "What do you consider to be the challenges facing sustainable tourism development on Magnetic Island?" and "How do you think TCC could help facilitate sustainable tourism development on Magnetic Island?"

The Zing technology allowed each table to key in their ideas which were projected immediately onto a large screen with all the others. Within seconds there were tens of responses posted and the TCC team promised to collate them and have them represented to the community as soon as possible.

It seemed however that an overwhelming number of respondents were expressing a powerful endorsement of sustainable options - away from the big development approaches the Island has witnessed in recent years.

Following this, Mr Colin Foley from Nelly Bay, called for the formation of a new tourist body on Magnetic Island.

In a letter to those who attended the meeting Mr Foley has followed up by writing, "I ask all Islanders who are interested in tourism to consider becoming members and supporters of our local "T.M.I."

After a summation of the TCC Economic Unit meeting Mr Foley wrote, "I was able to ask the assembly if we should have a Local Tourist Organisation (LTO). The response was an overwhelming "Yes". I then asked everyone if they thought it better to re-invigorate Tourism Magnetic Island, an existing body incorporated by Magnetic Island Development Association, rather than start a new group, with a new name, etc. A large majority agreed.

"Currently, no membership fees are seen as the preferable model. It is felt that it is better for TMI to identify projects and then work out how to execute them, on a case by case basis.

"At this stage there are no office bearers, other than a self-appointed 'Steering Committee' who have been keeping the ball rolling since a presentation by a TEL facilitator some months ago, pointed out the value of having a well organised LTO.

"In the meantime, we were able to produce and disseminate, free, a promotional email newsletter, to maximise visitors during Race Week, Jazz Party and Bay Days Festival. (We trust members benefited from this)


Call for new MI Tourism body
 
1 comments
 
Marjorie Glasson
September 26th 2008
As a person from the "south" who spends up to half the year on Maggie, it has been a concern to see the traditional island businesses with a unique Maggie flavour, disappearing, and attempts being made to replace these with "high end" usage. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that most of the advertising in southern states about the Island is relating to the sale of high value property, with the implication that this could be the "new Noosa". It is rare to see information aimed at the environmental traveller, domestic, or international, and the unique qualities of the landscape, the bird and animal life, or the special natural activities that can be found here.
This used to be the strong appeal of the Island, and those people appear not to be coming in significant numbers any more. The fact that much of the Island maintains its natural beauty; that people can come and stay in a wide range of comfortable and interesting accommodation; that visitors are free to participate in organized or self directed activities; that the island has world heritage status in its own right; that it is a demonstration solar city; and that it does not have to be an expensive experience to be here, are all important selling points to be valued and promoted. Travellers need to be reminded of these special attributes.


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