Rod Caldicott, the Tourism and Promotions Officer for Richmond Valley Council based at Casino, has been elected chair of the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN).

The election was held at the ARTN Annual General Meeting preceding last week’s Australian Regional Tourism Convention in the Barossa Valley in South Australia.

Rod steps into the role vacated by outgoing and founding Chair Wayne Kayler Thomson.

“With Rod’s involvement and keen interest from councils in our Northern Rivers region, we will be better informed on issues relating to regional tourism,” says the CEO of Northern Rivers Tourism, Russell Mills.

“More importantly, Rod’s involvement will provide the Northern Rivers region with a direct opportunity to influence Federal policy on regional tourism issues such as workforce recruitment/retention, infrastructure development and research into national visitor dispersion into regional areas.

“And the national profiling that Rod will bring to the Northern Rivers through his position is unquestionable.”

Northern Rivers Tourism, four councils from Northern Rivers -– Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Tweed, and the Australian Regional Tourism Research Centre based at Southern Cross University — were all represented at the Convention.

“The national convention is dedicated to issues relevant to regional tourism and is important for that reason alone,” Mr Mills said.

“Through workshops, keynote presentations and field trips, the Convention showcased some great initiatives like Australia’s first sustainable tourism business in north Queensland, the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria and regional produce trails in South Australia.

“Northern Rivers Tourism will now consider how these initiatives can be applied in our region in partnership with local government and industry.”