The Murray and Riverina regions have announced plans to boost tourism by 45.6 per cent over the next 13 years.
The growth targets, outlined in the new destination management plan, are expected to increase visitor expenditure in the regions to $1.12 billion per annum.
This growth will be supported by the creation of an additional 9,385 jobs across the region by 2031.
Destination NSW and Visit Victoria joined representatives from Murray Regional Tourism (MRT) and Destination Riverina Murray (DRM) attended the launch that took place last Wednesday (Mar 21).
MRT is the only Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) in Australia that includes areas within two states, Victoria and New South Wales, and is responsible for providing overarching tourism strategy for the Murray Region.
Wendy Greiner, Chair of Murray Regional Tourism, said that tourism to the Murray region in 2017 accounted for 19.9 per cent of total employment, attracting 5.4 million visitors (day trip and overnight) and $2.9 billion in visitor expenditure (direct and indirect).
Greiner says, “Our region and our partners have been successful in growing tourism over the past six years by 623,000 visitors and $339 million in visitor expenditure.
“With the launch of our 2018 Destination Management Plan, we embark on the next phase in the Murray region’s tourism growth. The Plan sets a series of infrastructure, product and experience priorities to ensure that we continue to thrive and grow, and I look forward to working with the State Governments of NSW and Victoria, with Destination Riverina Murray, the 13 local government authorities, and with the tourism sector and communities that are united by the Murray, to deliver on the potential identified in the Plan.”
Priority projects identified in the Destination Management Plans for Murray Regional Tourism and Destination Riverina Murray include:
- Murray River Adventure Trail (VIC/NSW): The creation of a multi-sport adventure trail extending the length of the Murray – 1,040km of land-based trails suited to walking and cycling, and 1,390km of water-based trails for kayaks and a range of water crafts – offering a unique and compelling nature-based tourism experience for visitors.
- River Cruising (VIC/NSW): Exploring the opportunity to develop and expand existing commercial cruise operators along the length of the Murray.
- Pomingalarna Multisport Cycling Complex (NSW): A plan to transform Pomingalarna Reserve, Wagga Wagga, building on the region’s existing cycling reputation and creating a compelling cycling facility to attract more cycling tourism and events. Featuring an international BMX track and velodrome with lighting, a 1.8km criterium cycling track, car parking and amenities including toilets, change rooms, canteen, meeting rooms, bbqs, shelters and children’s playground.
- Koodrook Butter Factory Arts Precinct and Murray River Brewery and Distillery (VIC): Creating a new food and beverage destination in the region by rejuvenating a heritage site and developing a new brewery and distillery with a co-located arts and business precinct to offer brewing, coffee roasting, chocolate, food and wine, artist and artisan studios.
- Ports of the Murray (VIC/NSW): Continuing the Ports of the Murray Strategic Initiative to advocate for port and riverside investment in communities throughout the region.
- Albury Entertainment Centre (VIC/NSW): Completing the feasibility study to determine if capacity can be increased to 600+ and additional exhibition/breakout spaces created, to attract more events, business events and tourism.
- Echuca Moama Resort and Conference Centre (VIC/NSW): A new 400-500 person capacity conference venue with attached accommodation to position the region to attract business events and enhance the current accommodation offer.
- Murray River Road and Mungo All Weather Road (VIC/NSW): Recognising that self-drive tourism is a significant market, these until-now untapped projects will develop and market touring itineraries and deliver the necessary enhancements to existing road infrastructure to support local community and visitor needs.
- Murray Agri and Culinary Tourism Experience (VIC/NSW): Building on the region’s strength as the nation’s food bowl centre, creating and marketing a series of tourism products and experiences and supporting producers, growers and food and wine businesses throughout the Murray region to deliver unique, authentic and appealing agritourism experiences.
- Griffith Wine and Food Hub (NSW): Establishing a food and wine hub to showcase Griffith’s strength in regional produce and fresh and gourmet food, supporting small businesses and creating a market which could offer local produce, a wine bank, business incubator, food education programs, cooking classes and demonstrations, arts and crafts.
- Mildura Motorsport Precinct (VIC): Capitalising on Mildura’s robust motorsports profile by creating one of Australia’s leading motorsports facilities, a precinct which will include a sealed 3km road circuit, skid pan, pits and control tower, office facilities, maintenance/wash-down shed, food/beverage facilities, parking and camping site.
- Hume and Hovell MTB Track and Adventure Trail (NSW): Building on the established Hume and Hovell walking track to develop a mountain bike track and adventure trail connecting the 426km track heads at Albury and Yass while passing through Wee Jasper, Tumut, Talbingo and Tumbarumba.
The Murray Regional Tourism Destination Management Plan can be downloaded from www.murrayregionaltourism.com.au
The Destination Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan can be downloaded from www.riverinamurray.com.au