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Clare Valley Tourism Region

Destination Management + Marketing Plan 2019-2024

Project Scope

The Clare Valley Tourism Region, a couple hours drive north of Adelaide,  encapsulates the Clare Valley Wine Region, Burra and the agricultural districts surrounding those key centres. The Region boasts some of Australia’s most coveted wine brands, cellar doors, regional dining experiences, events, and food producers, making it an exciting melting pot of epicurean delights.

In addition to the gastronomic experiences are some of South Australia’s most prominent copper mining and agricultural heritage assets which are complemented by historical walking trails, drives, museums, churches and cemeteries dotted across the Region.

The Region is home to an eclectic range of artisans and creatives, which has seen the organic growth of a diverse range of art and cultural experiences for locals and visitors to enjoy, including art galleries, trails, public art, expressive art and increasing indigenous cultural experiences.

All of these assets are perfectly nestled in a quintessentially Australian landscape, with rolling vineyards surrounding by majestic gum trees, broad acre cropping, and dramatic bare-rolling hills, all within a stones-throw from South Australia’s outback. This natural setting is the perfect backdrop for outdoor and soft adventure experiences, including cycling, walking and touring for all ages.

With a burgeoning visitor economy, and huge potential for growth, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North (RDAYMN) engaged us to work with key stakeholders to collaboratively develop a Destination Management and Marketing Plan for the whole Region.

The Objectives

The overarching goal for the Plan was to increase tourism visitation, expenditure, employment and development to the Region.

To achieve this Goal, we identified a number of objectives that the Plan would support, including:

  • Identify and implement strategic marketing initiatives (evolve current, activate new) to drive visitation growth and yield
  • Grow events through marketing and development
  • Ensure visitors has access to inspiring and relevant travel information and customer service at each stage of their travel purchase journey
  • Develop sustainable visitor economy assets and infrastructure that support the growth of key visitor markets, and to benefit communities
  • Mobilise an effective governance structure for tourism in the region to support the goals and outcomes within the Plan
CVTR Stakeholder Workshop Auburn

^ Stakeholder Engagement Workshop at Auburn

The Process

Destination Situation Analysis

In order to develop a relevant and reliable Plan for the region, it was essential to undertake a comprehensive Situation Analysis. This gave us a birds eye view of the state of play, which then helped to identify where the opportunities were for the Region.

The methodology used to gather the information to inform the Situation Analysis was three-fold, including Stakeholder Workshops, an Online Survey and numerous 1:1 individual meetings.

Consultation workshops in Auburn and Burra were facilitated, with 40+ in attendance overall. These workshops explored opportunities and challenges, and allowed for brainstorming. The online survey captured over 50 responses  which helped to confirm many of the opportunities identified in the Workshops. Various local government, industry and state government stakeholders were also engaged to establish a state of play, particularly around specific sectors of the visitor economy.

Overall, over 100 stakeholders were engaged in this project, who identified many opportunities and challenges across the destination, which were vital in informing the new Plan.

 

Plan Development, Delivery and Adoption

Once we had established a detailed situation analysis of the Region, we could then combine these insights with our own knowledge and expertise to develop the Draft Destination Management + Marketing Plan.

Presentations to Key Stakeholders

Whilst RDA Yorke and Mid North are the custodians of the Plan, the actions within the Plan were relevant for many key stakeholders within the Region. Therefore it was imperative that these stakeholders were briefed on the Draft Plan, and had a chance to offer feedback and comment. This process was extremely beneficial and resulted in an improved outcome for the Project.

Presentations to Local Government

Once the Plan was endorsed by the RDA Yorke and Mid North, and the key stakeholders (as above) we presented the Situation Analysis and Plan to the elected members from both the Clare and Gilbert Valley Council and the Regional Council of Goyder. These presentations sparked great discussion and improved understanding of best practice destination management and marketing, and helped councillors understand the reasoning behind the strategic direction and key initiatives.

Implementation Checklists

Growing a Region's economy takes the actions of many, not just a few individuals. So, we prepared checklists for Tourism Operators, Community groups and residents on how they can help implement the key initiatives within the Plan. We also encourage these groups to make contact with RDA to better understand how they can leverage and support the Plan through their initiatives and activities.

Industry Launch

On Thursday 5th December 2019, we are presenting the Plan to Industry, not only sharing the strategic direction, but how each community group and residents can get involved in the implementation of the Plan - making it everyone's Plan.

Results

Role Clarity and Governance

The Plan has provided clarity and direction for the stakeholders in the Region. The Region is working through a model for effective governance.

Tourism Resource Employed

RDA Yorke and Mid North have employed a full time resource to support the implementation of the Plan. Previously, this role was part time.

Building Digital Capacity

  • The Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Centre staff are currently reviewing and optimising their Destination Marketing initiatives (website and social media) Visitor Servicing delivery to better support and engage visitors in their region, both on and offline, via the Visitor Servicing + Destination Marketing Bootcamp.
  • The Burra Goyder Visitor Information Centre is an Alumni of the Bootcamp and will re-join the Bootcamp in 2020 to continue to improve their digital capacity.
  • In 2019, the region has undertaken a digital audit of tourism operators in the region to get a baseline of digital implementation. These operators then received mentoring to improve their digital presence.
  • In 2020, the Region will be investing in digital marketing workshops for the industry to support the implementation of the Region's brand

Visual Library

The Region has invested in upgrading the visual assets to use for marketing and servicing initiatives.

Are you ready to grow your region's visitor economy?

If you would like to chat to us about potentially developing a Tourism Strategy or Destination Marketing Plan to grow your region's visitor economy, then we would be delighted to hear from you!

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