The Braidwood and the Villages Tourism Association (BATV) held its AGM last week with a new committee elected and a commitment to maintain the current Visitors’ Information Centre as a going concern.
In her report, outgoing president of the association, Annie Clarke, thanked the committee for their work. She said that the former Palerang council had not treated tourism as core council business, but the forced amalgamation had changed the business of tourism in Braidwood.
Ms Clarke said that state and local governments now have budgets and policies for tourism and she believes that in order to successfully source funds from these grants, it is necessary to have professional management rather than volunteers.
The 2018-19 committee elected at the meeting is:
Sandra Hand, President; Chris Watkins, Vice-President; Georgina Byrnes, Treasurer; Margaret Tuckwell, Secretary; and committee members Suzanne Gearing, Judit Kovacs, Chris Nelson and Maria Bakas.
After the AGM the committee held a meeting to discuss the way forward, including the management of the Visitors’ Information Centre.
Sandra Hand described the meeting as very constructive and said that their immediate priority is to ensure that the Visitors’ Information Centre is able to open seven days a week with the peak tourist season approaching. There will also be training days for new volunteers.
The new committee was also able to meet briefly with QPRC’s Tourism Program Coordinator, Ryan Deebank, regarding QPRC’s involvement. Further meetings are planned to discuss future options.