The Limestone Coast has a major opportunity to capitalise on the tourism boom sweeping South Australia, said Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell.
Latest regional tourism figures show total visitor expenditure in regional South Australia in the 12 months to December 2022 reached a record high of $3.98 billion.
Independent MP Troy Bell said Mount Gambier and the wider Limestone Coast region had an opportunity to learn from other successful regional areas experiencing exponential tourism growth.
“Four regions, including Barossa and Flinders Ranges & Outback, have hit record- high visitor expenditure so let’s look at what they are doing right and take our lead from them,” he said.
“Post-Covid, people are enjoying travelling again and we need to look at what we can do to continue their journey down to the Limestone Coast.
Mr Bell said the AFL’s successful Gather Round had demonstrated the need for planning and partnerships to maximise visitor movements.
“There are plenty of incredible attractions in the Limestone Coast but perhaps they are not marketed as well as they should be, with a region-wide approach,” he said.
“There’s not too many places in South Australia you can walk along the crater rim of a dormant volcano or snorkel in a sinkhole but we have those experiences right here just ten-minutes drive from Mount Gambier.
“In the South Australian Visitor Strategy, the Limestone Coast’s priorities are marketing, experience and supply development, collaboration, building industry capability and opportunities around leisure and business events,” he said.
“We have many successful tourism operators and accommodation providers and now’s the time to spruik them.”
Mr Bell said it was time to make the most of potential opportunities and to think outside the box when it came to tourism.
“I’ll be having these conversations with new South Australian Tourism Commission CEO Emma Terry when she visits our region in mid-May,” he said.
“We’ve just had a bumper summer season in the Limestone Coast and I’d like our tourism operators to be able to say they’re experiencing that year-round.”