The Launceston Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer, Maree Tetlow, is a member of the Greater Launceston Plan (GLP) Project Management Group. The Chamber has provided business sector input into the GLP project that is led by Launceston City Council and released on Tuesday 17 December. Ms Tetlow advised that “The Chamber is pleased that the Launceston Central Area is a priority for redevelopment, and the overall plans are very positive. There is a strong emphasis on economic development, and we are particularly pleased that our Convention Centre Feasibility Study completed in September contributed significantly to the Plan.

The GLP states that “It is recognised by the GLP that conventions offer the opportunity to better utilise existing hotel facilities in Launceston and suburbs which currently experience significant seasonal variations in tourism accommodation. They also provide the opportunity to broaden the city and regional employment base” (refer Project C5 Page 156). A long term strategy to progressively build the convention market in Launceston is regarded as a GLP project of major regional significance. The GLP supports the appointment of building demand through a Business Events Co-ordinator focusing on:

○ improving local and regional participation in Business Events Tasmania;

○ marketing Launceston and its region to attract small and medium conventions;

○ developing a close relationship with potential local hosts for conventions

The Chamber has recently undertaken negotiations with major stakeholders in the region to fund a Business Events Coordinator to work in the Greater Launceston region. Ms Tetlow stated “We have had a very good response to our fund-raising so far – preliminary commitments to date total $30,000 - in addition to at least $70,000 that the major venues already commit to this market. We are also hopeful that Business Events Tasmania is positively considering our proposal. We should be able to appoint a Business Events Coordinator to work out of Launceston in the first half of 2014, if all the pledges materialise. In the meantime if there are any other venues or stakeholders that are keen to see the region build demand in the convention sector, they should contact me directly at the Launceston Chamber of Commerce”.