Meeting tourism challenges head on

Southern Cross University business and tourism student Lauren Bouquet gives Gay Stuart from Canberra the run-down on what to see and do in Ballina.

Enticing tourists to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ballina before theyve even left the Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport is the aim of a new initiative to capture the incoming tourist market.

The Ballina Visitor Centre recently recruited a volunteer Southern Cross University business and tourism student Lauren Bouquet to meet and greet visitors at the airport with a friendly smile, a local road map and a copy of the Ballina Coast & Hinterland Visitor Guide.

People have asked for some really obscure info like where to hire surfboards and where to go fossicking, so Ive actually learnt a fair bit I didnt even know about where I live, said Lauren, whose been a resident of Ballina for 11 years. I probably talk to about 50 people a day and I just rattle off everything I can think of to see and do.

Lauren has been meeting and greeting people for the last three weeks. Ballina Visitor Centre tourism co-ordinator Caroline Breen said while its difficult to gauge the benefit of the project, they hope to hold it again next year.

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