guest editorial

Tim Slade of Brad Jones Racing crash's during for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, at the Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, New South Wales, October 05, 2017. Photo Edge Photographics
Tim Slade of Brad Jones Racing crash's during for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, at the Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, New South Wales, October 05, 2017. Photo Edge Photographics

Murraylands shifts into top gear

                                                                                                                                                           The Murraylands is in motorsport’s pole position.

This month it was announced that The Bend Motorsport Park, at Tailem Bend, will host a round of next year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

Conservative estimates suggest 50,000 people will flock to the track for The Bend SuperSprint event from August 24-26 in 2018 – the state’s second round of Australia’s pinnacle motor racing series.

Meanwhile the park will attract an additional 350,000 visitors to the region annually for a range of other events and activities.

The Bend Motorsport Park is just one hour from Adelaide, but tourist spots along the Murray River are even closer.

The track is on Tailem Bend’s doorstep, Murray Bridge is a short 15 minute drive, and other townships of Mannum, Tintinara, Wellington and Karoonda are all within one hour.

Now is our time to overtake the competition.

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) has been working closely with ‘The Bend’ to identify and develop opportunities for local business to supply services to motorsport operations and event attendees.

A number of Murraylands-based businesses have been involved.

However, beyond this there is tremendous opportunity for businesses in the towns throughout the region, to open their doors to motorsport enthusiasts and the additional traffic which will literally be passing through their towns on their way to the track.

Businesses in regional towns tend to operate to local demand patterns, which means they may have reduced opening hours or be closed on weekends.

We’ve got to think bigger picture.

Event attendees and visitors to the region need somewhere to eat and to sleep.

We can offer them that, but so can city-based businesses.

Local businesses with a point of difference will be best-placed to attract new customers.

If you run a hotel or holiday park, consider offering a shuttle bus service between your accommodation and the race track.

Package holidays for racing enthusiasts, such as accommodation, meals and bundled tourism activities, are more likely to secure repeat customers by offering added value.

Locally-based event sponsors could leverage their involvement by providing additional experiences, such as driver meet-and-greets on their premises.

While they’re here, it’s an invaluable opportunity to capture visitors’ interest and create return customers and advocates for the region.

Research shows that once travellers have established a preferred stopping point, it’s extremely difficult to break or change these habits.

Come for the car racing, stay for a holiday.

We want visitors to go home to their family and friends and say, ‘I was in the Murraylands for the car racing last week, there was so much to do and I had a really great time’.

For businesses in the Murraylands, it’s a race to the chequered flag. 

No one remembers who came second.

For more information about businesses opportunities at or with The Bend Motorsport Park, contact the Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) office on 8535 7170.

                                                                                                                                                   Jo Podoliak,

Chief executive officer,

Regional Development Australia Murraylands & Riverland