Albury will become the regional capital of Australia, if an Activate Albury CBD plan succeeds.
Chair Barry Young launched the four-year strategic marketing and implementation plan on Tuesday.
He said the benefits of the dynamic and revitalised central business district would be felt across the entire city.
The four-year plan centres around targeting day-trippers from surrounding regional areas, existing overnight visitors and families as an untapped market.
Currently the Albury CBD’s weakness lies in its trading hours, the limited and unreliable rail network and a lack of support by the NSW government, the plan reported.
“A healthy active vibrant CBD is critical to our region, it’s in all our best interests that the plan works,” Mr Young said.
“Albury CBD, the capital of regional Australia – I think it’s quite a bold statement.
“That thinking underpins the whole marketing strategy.
“We have all the elements to make it a reality.”
More than 50 people attended the morning launch hosted by Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Young said through collaboration Albury businesses could promote and improve not only their businesses but the entire city – making it an outstanding regional hub.
The plan aims to build Albury CBD’s digital presence through a website, social media and the hashtag #AlburyCBD while building marketing channels and improving the signage, atmosphere and public art in Albury.
Mr Young said the plan was in the works for 12 months.
He said Active Albury CBD was funded by a council levy on CBD properties, with the plan and branding budgeted.
“We have all the elements to make this work, we have the road map, chamber, Activate and council are all on board – we just need your businesses to get on board,” he said.
“This can give retailers a greater market reach and a healthy vibrant CBD promotes visitors – it’s a great thing for small businesses.
“It’s an excellent plan for an excellent future.”
The plan identifies Wodonga as a potential long-term threat, noting recent investment south of the border.
“The Victorian government are supporting regional cities to a greater level than that of the NSW government,” it stated.
“Should the quality of brand names and depth of category offerings be improved within neighbouring regional areas this would present a threat to the Albury CBD.”
Mr Young said Albury CBD was already impressive and the plan was about promoting the area.
“At my businesses I often have tourists come in and say how blown away they are with Albury,” he said.