Council leaders discuss tourism opportunities before an expected tourism boom

COLLABORATION: Mid Murray, Coorong District, Alexandrina and Murray Bridge councils are working together to attract tourists to the region. Photo: Supplied.
COLLABORATION: Mid Murray, Coorong District, Alexandrina and Murray Bridge councils are working together to attract tourists to the region. Photo: Supplied.

Ahead of an expected tourism boom for the region, four River Murray councils are investigating opportunities to collaborate on a joint destination marketing and promotional strategies around experiences and accommodation for The Bend Motorsport Park.

Mayors and chief executive officers from the Mid Murray, Coorong, Alexandrina and Rural City of Murray Bridge councils discussed plans for the strategies at a recent regional collaboration meeting.

Mid Murray Council Mayor Dave Burgess said the meetings were about taking a partnership approach to big local issues regarding tourism, boating infrastructure and education.

Also high on the group’s list of collaborative projects is managing marine infrastructure and opportunities to create improved access to the Murray River and Lower Lakes.

Mayor Burgess said the meetings were a ‘think tank’ for the four councils to pool efforts and resources across council boundaries.

“By working together, we can create a river-wide view to tackling key issues and help boost the Murray region,” Mayor Burgess says.

“We can explore common goals for local communities and examine opportunities to drive regional success.”

By working together, we can create a river-wide view to tackling key issues and help boost the Murray region.

Dave Burgess

Discussion points from the meeting were referred to the Murray River Lakes and Coorong Tourism Alliance for conideration.

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland tourism development manager Julie Bates said cooperation between the region’s was key to attracting visitors.

“Luckily our councils understand that we all have to work together to get people interested in what the Murraylands has to offer,” she said.

“We can’t be competing for tourists, because in the end that won’t benefit any of the areas.”

Ms Bates said tourists did not see council boundaries, so it was vital for the region’s councils to collaborate.

“We want to not just attract a family to Murray Bridge or to the Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend, we want them to try a little bit of everything we’ve got,” she said. “It’s an exciting time to be here.”

Other items discussed at the September meeting included:

  • Regional priorities for boating infrastructure and Murray River tourism
  • The potential efficiencies by sharing procurement contractors across councils
  • Rural City of Murray Bridge obtaining funding for a regional drug action team