Tourism playing an important role in Glen

The decision to change the branding of our community to Glen Innes Highlands is a good decision, that will help improve the marketing of Glen Innes all year round.

On Tuesday we reported that after the Australian Standing Stones, the biggest tourist attractions in Glen Innes are fossicking and national parks.

New England MP Barnaby Joyce had been overjoyed by the release of tourism numbers, which showed how popular the New England region was.

Our position on the New England Highway helps brings plenty of people our way. So the way we market the activities we have available is important.

Attractions like fossicking, heritage walks and national parks bring in thousands of tourists every year, which makes the name change to Glen Innes Highlands a wise one.

So much of our tourism is not related to the Celtic themes, but to the highlands attractions.

While the Celtic Festival remains the most prominent event on the Glen Innes calendar, the people who come to visit national parks, to fossick, and see the museums, as well as the villages such as Emmaville, are brought here by attractions that don't always sit comfortably under the Celtic brand.

This obviously played a strong role in the push to change the Glen Innes destination branding from Celtic Country to Glen Innes Highlands, which received support at a branding workshop last year.

When the Examiner reported on this debate late last year, marketing expert Bill Baker commented that the change would provide opportunities to include all villages and to present the experiences and benefits that are presented by the highland landscape, seasons, climate and outdoor recreation.

He said it would also make it easier to market National Parks and fossicking under the Glen Innes Highlands banner.

Over a 12-month period we have had thousands of people come to Glen Innes every day.

The average length of stay is about three days, and on average they spend $290.

It has brought in $50 million, making tourism our second biggest industry behind agriculture.

It brings so many benefits, but anything we can do to build on that and highlight the variety of attractions we have to offer is welcome. It will help our community to continue to prosper.