‘Glen Innes Highlands’ was unanimously accepted as the new destination brand name by the second Branding Workshop held on 17 November 2016.  Glen Innes Severn Council, at the request of the Glen Innes Severn Tourist Association (GISTA) and Business In Glen (BIG) as part of the 2015 Economic Development Strategy, has undertaken a destination branding review.  Bill Baker, a world renown branding expert, was engaged to facilitate a process to review the existing ‘Celtic Country’ branding. Bill also undertook an online survey of residents to seek feedback on the current branding and perceptions of Glen Innes and District as a visitor destination.

Two workshops were undertaken to engage with around 20 people representing different locations and interests across the Local Government Area. The group included representation from Deepwater and Emmaville villages, Business In Glen, Glen Innes Severn Tourist Association, History House Museum, National Parks, Celtic Festival Committee, the Australian Standing Stones Management Board, Aboriginal Lands Council, Agriculture, Arts NW, Photo Create, the Glen Innes and District Show Committee, Emmaville Mining Museum, Minerama Committee and the Glen Innes and District Services Club.  There was strong support to retain the ‘Celtic Country’ theme for things Celtic such as the Celtic Festival and the Australian Standing Stones, but to have an umbrella brand of ‘Glen Innes Highlands’.

The workshop participants immediately warmed to the ‘Glen Innes Highlands’ brand name at the first meeting. Each participant then discussed the name with a wide audience before coming back to the second meeting.  “‘Highlands’ more readily forms an umbrella that will expand on the successes of Celtic Country,” said Bill Baker of Total Destination Marketing. “For instance, it provides opportunities to include all villages and to present the experiences and benefits that are presented by the highland landscape, seasons, climate and outdoor recreation,” he said.

At the second meeting and following further consultation, the Branding Workshop unanimously accepted the destination name of ‘Glen Innes Highlands’. It has recommended Council adopt the destination name of ‘Glen Innes Highlands’ for all destination branding and to prepare a set of branding guidelines including logo and fonts that can be used by all organisations wanting to promote our area.

“Branding guidelines will create a focused and consistent selling of our area,” said Peter Lisberg, Glen Innes Severn Tourist Association. “It will also make it easier to market National Parks and fossicking under the Glen Innes Highlands banner,” he said.

‘Glen Innes Highlands’ was regarded as being more socially inclusive, and reflects our significant location astride the Great Dividing Range. Our altitude at around 1,100 metres influences our climate creating the four clear seasons and our geographical diversity. These features are what also attracted Celtic settlers to the area.  When considering settlements with populations greater than 2,000 people, Glen Innes is the highest town in Australia.  Comments or questions on the proposal can be made to Peter Lisberg, Glen Innes Severn Tourist Association 0414 586 518; Jim Richie, Business In Glen 0428 490 108; or Peter Teschner, Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre, 02 6730 2401.