Would you like to see a new water slide in Wagga? Here’s how you can potentially see it come to fruition.
Local businesses and community members are encouraged to share their innovative ideas with the Wagga Wagga City Council to help boost tourism in the city.
Wagga attracts 1.3 million visitors to the region annually, which contributes more than $385 million to the local economy.
With the feedback from the local community and industry, the council will assemble the draft Destination Management Plan (DMP), which will provide a roadmap for Wagga to develop its tourism over the next decade.
As Wagga is being recognised as a leading tourism destination in the Riverina, the council’s destination and events coordinator, Kimberly Parker, said it was a unique opportunity for the community and industry to share their ideas to influence the role the future visitor economy of Wagga played in the region, state and the country.
“We’re [the council] in our early engagement phases to develop the first Destination Management Plan … it’s the first time the council is doing this and we’re excited to see how we can build tourism in the city,” Ms Parker said.
“We launched a new platform on the council’s website to have your say in this Destination Management Plan.
“We want to capture community and industry ideas; these could range from bold, large-scale projects such as expansive lookouts, holiday resorts and airport upgrades to allow for more visitors, to innovative small-business ideas such as new hire companies, tour experiences, or even how we could be integrating modern technologies such as artificial intelligence for enhanced visitor experiences.”
Eastern Riverina Arts executive director Tim Kurylowicz said the DMP would allow the council to think more granularly, especially when seeking funding or applying for grants.
“It’s an opportunity for the community to identify long-term things we believe in and want to invest in as a community,” Mr Kurylowicz said.
Mr Kurylowicz has become aware that people are increasingly looking for unique experiences.
“Arts and cultures provide a lot of those [unique experiences],” he said. “We have some incredible local makers and creatives who offer workshops, skills and development opportunities … unique things you can’t get anywhere else and people travel hundreds of kilometres to participate.
“Not everything has to be a structure or infrastructure. Our galleries and museums play a huge role here as a thing you do when everything is closed on a Sunday.”
The owner of local business Kidsons Cycles, Kris Whybro, said cycling tourism had become a major part of his operation.
“With the different cycling events and the trails around Wagga, we’re seeing a big influx of people from out of town coming to Wagga and utilise the trials and events,” Mr Whybro said.
“Council is behind the cycling tourism … it is a major part of the city.
“It’s encouraging kids and adults to be healthy.”
The council has engaged external consultancy Urban Enterprise to prepare the Wagga Wagga DMP. For cross-industry support, the Wagga Wagga DMP will have strategic alignments with NSW’s Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 and the Destination Riverina Murray Destination Management Plan 2030, as well as links to relevant endorsed local government plans and strategies.
Have your say about how to improve Wagga’s tourism here. The submission for the survey will close on Sunday, 3 December, at 11:59 pm.