The tourism industry is one which has been rattled by recent challenging times - a group of business men and women know this better than most, so they decided to do something about it.
The South Coast Tourism Industry Association was created after the Black Summer Fires which pushed the tourism industry to its limits.
Executive Officer and co-creator, Karen Dempster said it was the realisation the tourism industry was dying along the South Coast which made her do something.
"I worked in the international tourism industry as well as domestic, so I knew I had to get a group of people together to do something and help tourism businesses right along the South Coast," she said.
According to Ms Dempster, the Black Summer Fires and COVID-19 pandemic made her recognise the need for the tourism industry to have an independent voice, to ensure there is cohesion between government tourism bodies and to make sure the needs of tourism businesses on the South Coast are met.
Ms Dempster said the main aim is to recognise, develop and implement new strategies for the tourism industries future.
"The association identifies opportunities for members and their communities to benefit from recovery funds and grants which will support their growth in the future," she said.
Currently, the association (which will run South of Sydney right down to the Victorian border) is travelling to different towns in the South Coast, holding 'launch nights'.
The point of the 'launch night' is to inform multiple tourism businesses in the town of what benefits the association can offer.
The association has already launched in the Shoalhaven and recently held it's presentation in the Eurobodalla-Shire.
Michelle Bishop, owner of Bangalay Luxury Villas in Shoalhaven Heads and President of the association has been presenting at the launches, informing the businesses of what the association aims to do.
"We want to be an association which represents the tourism industry right along the South Coast," she said.
"The ultimate goal is for the South Coast tourism industry to be recognised at an international scale and for businesses the strive along the beautiful South Coast."
The association will hold its next 'launch night' in the Bega Valley on December 22.
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