Gloucester Visitor Information Centre has been putting out a weekly newsletter for over 10 years and now it’s over.
What started out as ‘What’s On’, a multi paged newsletter designed to provide tourism operators with information for their guests on events happening each week as well as information about upcoming events, evolved into ‘The Gloss’ in May 2016. The Gloss condensed all the information into a one page document.
Last week, MidCoast Council announced The Gloss was finished and would be replaced by council’s new weekly MidCoast Tourism enewsletters ‘Talkin' Tourism’.
The news has come as a shock to people who regularly receive The Gloss and rely on it as their connection to what is happening in the Gloucester region.
Trudy Schultz from Accommodation Gloucester said the new Talkin’ Tourism newsletter is more focused on the industry rather than encouraging visitors to Gloucester.
“I have been printing off copies of The Gloss and placing them into the accommodation I manage, thus ensuring our visitors are aware of what is happening around the Gloucester region as well as activities they can undertake, which can often encourage them to extend their stay,” she said.
Melissa Griffith from Copeland House said she provided The Gloss to her guests with their afternoon tea on arrival and expressed that she was “disappointed to see it go.”
The news has not just affected business owners. Gloucester residents have also expressed their point of view.
Penny Vavasour said she was shocked when she read the email saying it was finished.
“This action is merely confirming some of our worst fears about the effects on our small community of being merged with the two much larger councils of Greater Taree and Great Lakes,” she said.
And she is not alone is her opinion.
“In acknowledging the many benefits that our merger with Great Lakes/Manning region has afforded us, we need to ensure that we don’t lose our own special identity – Gloucester has lot to offer in its own right. Over many years we have worked hard to establish this identity and gained valuable recognition as a result of that effort,” Trudy expressed.
MidCoast Council’s destination management co-ordinator Sharon Bultitude said council’s strategy to consolidate and streamline the approach to tourism prompted a review of all regional-specific publications.
“This follows the adoption of the MidCoast Destination Management Plan and the appointment of the new Destination Management Team at the end of last year, with work now commencing to deliver on the objectives outlined in this strategic tourism plan,” she explained.
“A comprehensive review of the various tourism-related publications, enewsletters, social media channels and websites that were managed by the former regional tourism teams was undertaken and reviewed against both our agreed strategic objectives and the available staff and financial resources.”
Council said it’s in the planning phase for a newsletter to keep the wider community up to date about tourism activity and to be involved in the future of tourism for the MidCoast region.
“I do hope that others who share my views will speak up and let the MidCoast Council members know that we are not happy with this decision and expect it to be reversed,” Penny concluded.