TOURISM: Tweed Shire Council has awarded DR Tourism the marketing contract to promote the region.
TOURISM: Tweed Shire Council has awarded DR Tourism the marketing contract to promote the region. Scott Powick

Queensland company wins four-year Tweed tourism contract

A QUEENSLAND tourism company has won the lucrative marketing contract to promote the Tweed Shire to the world.

Tweed Shire Council on Thursday unanimously awarded the contract to Hervey Bay based company DR Tourism, ending almost 25 years of Destination Tweed promoting the region, at the recommendation of staff.

The four-year contract states DR Tourism would be paid $950,000 a year, with an option to be extended by a further four years, totalling $7.6 million.

Addressing a full council chamber, Councillor Chris Cherry called for a deferral of the decision in the hopes of meeting with DR Tourism, before her request was denied.

"I have some issues with awarding a contract close to $1 million to people I have never met," she said.

"I think they are going to be our public face and be responsible for promoting us and I would like them to present to us before making a decision."

Mayor Katie Milne, who also supported deferring the decision until meeting with DR Tourism, said it was important council supported the recommendation, which met an extensive selection criteria.

"It's a very difficult decision and it's one of those moments in time that you wish you weren't a councillor," Cr Milne said.

"It has been an extremely thorough and comprehensive procurement and tender process.

"Council spent a lot of money to go down this path to make sure we were able to make an impartial decision and we have obligations to abide by that decision."

During community access, four different tourism industry operators called on the council to award Destination Tweed the contract.

"I think it's important to know this region from inside out rather than impose ideas from the outside in," Mount Warning Tours operator Michael Simmons said.

Restaurateur Lee Middendorf said he was worried it would be a "a major conflict of interest" for a Queensland based company to promote the Tweed.

But Cr James Owen said he believed DR Tourism would ensure promotion of the region would stay strong.

"I don't believe (DR Tourism) is going to sandbag Tweed just to make Queensland better," he said.

"In one or two years time, I would say people will be very confident with the direction of tourism in the Tweed."