THERE is no doubt the hamlet of Halls Gap is integral to the economic viability of Northern Grampians Shire.
The direct and indirect economic impact of tourism in the Grampians region is more than $200 million a year.
Council is looking to capitalise on that by creating a project control group for the development of Halls Gap as a tourist resort town.
Its decision is timely, with accommodation providers bracing themselves for a boom in international visitor numbers thanks to the fall of the Australian dollar.
Halls Gap is at the heart of the iconic region and offers a range of accommodation options, restaurants, cafes, stores, galleries and attractions.
The Halls Gap Zoo is recognised internationally and Brambuk The National Park and Cultural Centre offers a unique and exceptional insight into Aboriginal culture.
Tourists flock to popular events such as the Halls Gap Jazz Festival and the Grampians Grape Escape.
Then, of course, there's the region's sheer natural beauty and the plethora of options available for lovers of the great outdoors.
Despite all this, Halls Gap cannot afford to rest on its laurels.
As councillor Paul Russell put it tourists these days want more bang for their buck.
And the best people to provide it are those who are passionate about the town and have a strong vision for its future.
A project control group is a great idea and it will be interesting to see what representatives from the business, community and tourism sectors can come up with once they put their heads together.
It's good to see council being proactive.
Sarah Scully, journalist