MEDIA RELEASE - Government must immediately start marketing campaign for South Coast

The NSW Labor Opposition is calling on the Government to immediately implement a marketing campaign to help towns on the South Coast grappling with a tourism crisis in the wake of the recent bushfires and ongoing drought. The South Coast is notoriously busy with summer tourists, boosting the local economy however business owners are struggling with a significant financial loss during what is usually their busiest time. The flow on impact of this is hospitality and retail workers are getting fewer shifts or even losing their jobs altogether. From Christmas to the end of January in particular is the most profitable time for accommodation services and small business operators, however they are now feeling the impact of low tourist numbers. Labor Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park said he has visited the region and spoken to café owners and retail workers who said they were all concerned as to the long term viability of their business now that they have missed this important economic boost. “The towns have already lost so much, if they now lose these vital businesses it would be the final kick in the guts. “We are calling on the Government to immediately implement a targeted marketing campaign which would encourage people back into the towns where it is safe to visit again. We want people to get back to the South Coast and support these towns. The time for this campaign is now, not in a few months’ time when the Government finally gets its act together. “The Government has been moving too slowly and this marketing campaign needs to be up and running as a matter of urgency” Mr Park said. Labor Shadow Minister for Investment and Tourism Jenny Aitchison said “There is a major tourism crisis facing towns and cities all across NSW that will only get worse if the government doesn’t act immediately” “While tourists should avoid areas that are currently battling fires, there are places, both on the coast and inland, that desperately need a lifeline and would welcome the economic boost that domestic and international tourism brings.” Ms Aitchison said.

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