- Published on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 15:11
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Upgraded accommodation including five-star and eco-tent venues are among the ideas to triple tourism spending in the Riverland over the next decade.
Destination Riverland's three-year plan, launched at Loxton last week, aims to grow tourism revenue by a further $242 million over the next decade. Destination Riverland, funded primarily by the region's four councils, was formed last year after the South Australian Tourism Commission-funded Riverland Tourism Association dissolved.
The strategic plan states that the Riverland region experienced a sharp downturn in tourism during the past decade.
Destination Riverland has identified the following key strategies in its 2012-15 plan:
- Riverland tourism website
- Promote wine and food
- Encourage repeat visitors
- Increase online bookings
Promote eco-tenting - houseboat holidays have been identified as a 'signature holiday' for the Riverland but the region needs to offer more eco-tourism to showcase its river landscape. "There are several specialised eco-accommodation facilities in the Riverland, although as yet there is no eco-tent accommodation available," the report reads.
Promote 4.5 and 5 star accommodation - 76% of the Riverland's accommodation is rated with three stars and the remainder has a four-star rating. "High yield visitors seek 4½-star and 5-star accommodation... accommodation upgrades and new developments will complement the emerging reputation of the Riverland as a wedding destination," the report reads.
Increase visitor access - there is a need for commercial flights into the region and for a hire-car service. It has also called for additional recreational vehicle friendly sites and aims to promote facilities on its website, with a link to motor home and RV club sites.
Riverland has experienced a decline in visitor numbers by 35.8% since 2000, leading to a loss of over $200 million in revenue for the Riverland visitor economy since 2000, the report states.