Corryong Council’s ‘lost cousin’: claim

An Upper Murray caravan park operator claims Towong Council is not doing enough to attract the tourist dollar in Corryong.

Colac Colac Caravan Park lessee Phil Geier said he was sick of having to spend his own money on advertising to keep his business viable.

He believed other local businesses were in the same position.

Mr Geier said the council had a moral and financial responsibility to be more proactive in promoting the area, including attendance at major caravan shows.

“Councils don’t recognise the value of the tourist dollar, and especially this council,” he said.

“They do a lot of spruiking but not that much doing.”

Mr Geier said his caravan park was still in the black, but with utility bills rising quicker than income, he couldn’t afford the extra costs.

He said part of the problem was the council was based at Tallangatta.

“If you live in another area, where’s your heart and soul?” he said.

“We seem to be the lost cousin up at Corryong.”

Mr Geier said he believed the Victorian Government’s Beechworth-based Tourism North East was only concerned with its immediate area.

He said individual business contributions were supporting government figures showing tourism generated 24.6 per cent of the High Country’s gross regional product.

Towong Council rejected Mr Geier’s claim the Corryong Visitor Information Centre was only staffed by a part-time officer and volunteers.

A council spokeswom-an said the centre had the equivalent of a permanent officer, with a full-time job share position.

“Council, together with Tourism North East, develop tourism initiatives and use resources to assist with tourism industry and business development, marketing and public relations,” she said.

“In the past 12 months alone, Tourism North East has worked extensively with local tourism operators to develop tourism in the Towong Shire.”

She said initiatives included workshops, business mentoring, guide distribution and website support shire-wide.

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