Revitalising the Murray
The Revitalising Murray Regional Tourism project is a strategic intervention project consisting of 5 key pillars to address the various aspects required to reactivate the visitor economy within the Murray region.
The impacts of COVID 19 have been profound on the visitor economy with the region and industry having experienced over 41 weeks of interruption in the past 12 months unlike any other region in Australia due to travel restrictions and border closures implemented by both the Victorian and NSW government. These closures decimated access from our key source markets of Melbourne (66% visitors), NSW (22% of visitors) and South Australia (6% visitors) which our region is so heavily reliant upon.
The region pre COVID was experiencing record visitation, expenditure and employment results with significant investment also occurring in new and or upgrading of product and experiences. The industry was buoyant, our LGA partners were investing and pursing a range of critical infrastructure projects and the visitor economy was a key element of the overall Murray region economy.
Prior to COVID-19 the region would welcome annually 6.5 million visitors across our river communities with around 2,500 tourism businesses providing fabulous experiences. Visitors spent nearly $2 billion in direct expenditure and enjoyed 10 million nights in the region. Over 18,000 people were employed in tourism related businesses and the sectors was the second largest employer in the region.
5 Key Pillars
This project is designed to address the outlined challenges an integrated approach has been developed and will consist of the following elements:
- Murray River Cruising Strategy
Development of a River Cruising strategy to identify opportunities to develop and enhance river cruising experiences on the Murray river.
- Murray Region Consumer Research Project
Undertake consumer research for the Murray region to identify perceptions of the Murray region by existing, potential and those visitors with no intention to visit the region to identify what they seek from a holiday across both short break and long stay holidays to inform both demand and supply side investment. Need to drive mid-week tourism to support recovery, this project will help understand the needs of the consumer and inform operators.
- Accommodation Diversification Gap Analysis
Project to build occupancy and assist recovery through alignment of regional offering and consumer preference. The project involves undertaking an audit of all existing accommodation within the Murray region along with a consumer accommodation market research and assessment analysis. The aim is to identify gaps and opportunities for development of accommodation to meet consumers preference.
- Murray Visitor Economy Research Dashboard
Development of visitor economy digital research dashboard to enable continual monitoring of consumer insights and visitor research to assist make informed strategic and commercial decisions. This creates the opportunity to do heat mapping, the data could then be used in a live format to understand real time trends and impacts.
- Murray Brand Digital Content Hub Platform
Development of Murray digital content hub platform to provide centralised access to regional brand assets, along with sub brand and co-branded content for our destinations.