10 Year Strategic Tourism Plan
The Riverland is home to an established tourism industry of over 400 visitor experiences, with a diverse array of tourism experiences on offer, centred around the magnificent hero experience of the Murray River, featuring its red cliffs, big red gums, clear night skies and colourful, reflective sunrise and sunsets over tranquil waterways.
The Riverland’s ‘Murray River’ is a base for a wide range of outdoor experiences for people wanting to connect with nature and wildlife or have active adventures like bushwalking, fishing, boating, kayaking, birdwatching and water-skiing.
The Riverland is the food and wine bowl of South Australia with large areas of irrigated fertile soil producing fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, unique beers and ciders, plus innovative cellar door, brewery and distillery experiences.
The Region’s rich heritage is the supporting experience for visitors and is what make the Riverland unique to other parts of the Murray River. While the Region’s indigenous experiences are growing, there is a rich collection of Post European settlement stories of the early paddle steamers era, innovative pioneering farming settlers, Lock development, world wars, floods and post-war soldier settlers can be explored by visitors through Riverland towns, pubs, trails, walks, drives, museums, paddle steamers and wharfs.
To capitalise on the great potential of the Region, Destination Riverland (the region's Regional Tourism Organisation) spearheaded the engagement of a committee with representatives from all visitor economy stakeholders whom engaged us to work with key stakeholders to develop a collaborative 10-year Tourism Plan for the Region to increase visitor expenditure, regional employment and tourism visitation.
In order to deliver the outcomes for this Project, the Project methodology was divided into two distinct Stages:
- Destination Situation Analysis 2020 – which will highlight the state of play for tourism in the Riverland. This document will remain an internal piece for key stakeholders reference when reading the Tourism Plan.
- Riverland Tourism Plan 2030 – which will be an opportunistic planning framework based on insights from the Situation Analysis, as well as a detailed action plan which will take into consideration the recommendations from Project 1, to drive growth for the Riverland’s visitor economy.
Destination Situation Analysis
In order to develop a relevant and reliable long-term 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 major opportunities were for the Region.
The methodology used to gather the information to inform the Situation Analysis was three-fold, comprising of 5 in-destination workshops, an Online Survey and numerous 1:1 individual meetings.
In total, we consulted over 150 tourism stakeholders in the region, and across the State and some interstate stakeholders in Victoria to get a clear understanding of the current state of play for the Region.
Adding complexity to this part of the project was the unprecedented advent of COVID-19. We managed to get all of our in-destination workshops completed just prior to when the first National lockdown measures were put in place in mid-March 2020.
Given the circumstances with COVID-19, and it's impact on the glogbal tourism industry, we weren't able to get a clear picture of the opportunities for the Region until the dust had settled.
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 2030 Plan.
Presentations to Key Stakeholders
Whilst Destination Riverland 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.
We are scheduled to return to the Riverland in early February 2021 to launch the new Plan to the industry and the wider community.
^ Stakeholder Engagement Workshop at Loxton
We finalised the Riverland Tourism Plan 2030 in mid October 2020, and so look forward to sharing new insights with regard to the implementation of the Plan in time!
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!