Collaboration the key to tourism growth

Article image - Collaboration the key to tourism growth MP Leon Bignell, Peter Ali, CEO McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association, Mark Dowd CEO City of Onkaparinga and Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg at the launch of the new visitor’s guide. Collaboration and partnership are the foundations of a new five-year tourism strategy being driven by the City of Onkaparinga.

The new plan is focused on forging strong local business and organisation partnerships, facilitating tourism opportunities for businesses and business associations, attracting and sustaining major events, and effectively targeting key tourism audiences through a range of marketing initiatives.

In the Onkaparinga region the tourism sector provides $326 million in direct economic activity and $130 million in value adding to the local economy, creating nearly 1,800 direct jobs in the council area.

‘‘Tourism is such an important sector, so we owe it to the people who drive this industry to work closely with them to develop strategies that deliver what they’re telling us they need, while meeting the council’s goals for regional and economic development, and the State Government’s broader tourism targets,” said Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg.

An example of this collaborative approach has been the launch of the new McLaren Vale, Hills, Valleys and Beaches Visitor Guide.

Council worked closely with the McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association and more than 100 local businesses to develop the 60 page guide, which is the first publication to cover attractions across the entire council area.

70,000 copies of the guide have been distributed nationally, providing information on towns, accommodation, cellar doors, dining, arts, culture and heritage, leisure activities and shopping. An online version and smartphone compatible version are also available.

Councillor Rosenberg said Council should be doing whatever they could to encourage visitation.

“We want people around Australia and across the globe to know what locals already know – that the City of Onkaparinga offers an unmatched range of activities, events, festivals, food, wine and tourist attractions all within 30 minutes of Adelaide’s CBD.”

The City of Onkaparinga has a successful history in the tourism sector, hosting Jayco Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under each year and recently securing the internationally renowned Sandstorm Sand Sculpture Exhibition to be held in late November at Christies Beach. The cycle race already attracts more than 120,000 people to the region each year and the Sandstorm event, which features the world’s best sand sculptors, is expected to attract similar numbers.

To see the visitor’s guide online visit