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Australia launches Visitor Economy Strategy 2030; forward thinking to benefit tourism SMEs

The Reimagining the Visitor Economy report identified the need for destinations to diversify their products and experiences. Doing so will help attract more visitors from Australia and overseas. This recommendation has been incorporated into the draft visitor economy strategy, THRIVE 2030.

Adelaide Oval, the National Zoo and Aquarium, and the Three Capes Lodge Walk show how diversifying can benefit tourism businesses.

Adelaide Oval: more than cricket

Cricket is probably what you first think of when picturing Adelaide Oval. After all, it is where Sir Don Bradman scored his maiden century in 1927.

A strategy of innovation means it is also a destination for thrill-seekers, fine diners or those looking for a city break.

Adelaide Oval is close to the city centre on the banks of the River Torrens. It is well known as a venue for cricket, AFL and rugby. It is also a venue for global concert tours and major events.

Its investment in new technology, services and experiences is attracting more than sports fans and concert goers.

A destination, not just a venue

Visitors to Adelaide Oval can enjoy a range of experiences including:

  • Tours of the grounds and heritage scoreboard
  • RoofClimb – the first of its kind in Australia, with the world’s first roof-top stadium seats
  • Fine dining at Five Regions Restaurant. Visitors can also enjoy casual meals at Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen, Koffee Ink café or Malt Shovel Taphouse
  • Onsite accommodation at the Oval Hotel
  • Functions and conferences.

By cross-promoting its experiences, Adelaide Oval has become more financially sustainable. It has also increased its number of visitors and overnight stays.

National Zoo and Aquarium: getting up close with wildlife

Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium has tapped a luxury market by offering five-star accommodation, gourmet cuisine and unforgettable animal encounters.

The Jamala Wildlife Lodge opened at the National Zoo and Aquarium in December 2014. It offers luxury accommodation tailored to individual animal experiences.

A stay in the Giraffe Treehouses allows visitors to watch giraffes grazing outside their window. The Jungle Bungalows offer views of lions, tigers and sun bears.

Promoting education and conservation

Guests get close to some of the world’s most endangered animals. They also learn about efforts to save them. A portion of profits supports breeding and education programs.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge has increased visitor numbers and length of stay. This has helped improve the attraction’s resilience and its domestic and international reputation.

Three Capes Lodge Walk: connecting with nature

The Three Capes Lodge Walk is a unique experience that combines comfort, adventure and sustainability.

The Tasmanian Walking Company broadened its appeal to an older, less hardy market. This led to a sustainable eco-friendly, high-yield product.

Most people who do the Three Capes Lodge Walk are between 45 and 65. They are interested in travel experiences that challenge and connect them with nature.

Increasing accessibility

The Three Capes Track has long appealed to nature lovers prepared to stride out into the wilderness. It stretches 48 km along Australia’s highest sea cliffs, through coastal heath and silver gum forests.

Until 2018, the experience was designed for the young and fit. Trekkers had to carry all their provisions with them, in packs weighing up to 20 kg. The only accommodation was shared dormitories.

The Three Capes Lodge Walk was created to attract a wider age group and different fitness levels. The aim was to deliver bigger returns.

The walk has opened up the Tasman Peninsula’s spectacular landscape to a new kind of adventure seeker.

Balancing comfort and sustainability

Quality accommodation is one of the reasons for the Three Capes Lodge Walk’s success. The Tasmanian Walking Company invested in two high-end sustainable lodges.

Each eco-lodge blends into the natural environment, with solar power and water-saving technologies.

The lodges are inviting, providing guests with comfortable bedrooms, great views and superb food and wines.

The lodges can only host 14 guests. Keeping numbers low and maximising return per visitor means the experience is profitable and environmentally sustainable.

The rewards of diversification

THRIVE 2030 encourages tourism businesses to think differently and consider how they can adapt and build on their products and experiences.

Innovative approaches can entice domestic visitors to find the treasures in their own backyards. They will also attract high-value international visitors once borders reopen.

Read the draft THRIVE 2030 strategy for the visitor economy.

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