5 May 2023

Masterclasses aim to help Wagga make the most of regional tourism opportunities

| Chris Roe
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young woman sitting on footpath

Kimberly Parker hopes to see Wagga make the most of its tourism opportunities. Photo: Chris Roe.

A series of tourism masterclasses kicking off in Wagga next week aims to help local operators to make the most of the region’s jam-packed calendar of events and growing visitor numbers.

“It’s for local operators, people who are organising music events or festivals or local markets and also local businesses, particularly around hospitality and functions,” explained Wagga City Council’s destination and events coordinator Kimberly Parker.

“We are really lucky that we have so many events here, so it’s about helping people know how to communicate with their audiences and boost their social media skills and get the most out of it.”

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The series of four masterclasses, running through May, will examine the city’s tourism and events landscape, and consider emerging trends and current industry approaches.

“We want to help provide industry operators with a strong understanding of the varying opportunities in our city and how to make the most of key visitor markets through destination storytelling and marketing,” Ms Parker said.

“We’ll help operators to understand how to get proposals together, to know how to communicate them and who their target audiences are, and how to reach them.

“We also have a workshop delivered by a mobility provider, called ‘localise’, which is a deep dive into some more granular information about who’s coming to visit the city and understanding their interests.”

ice skating

The Festival of W is one of a growing number of events across the Wagga LGA. Photo: Wagga City Council.

Part of that will be an opportunity to learn more about the region’s rich Wiradjuri culture as Uncle James Ingram hosts a full-day Cultural Awareness Walking Tour.

It’s hoped that locals will develop a deeper understanding of the region’s history and become more confident in sharing it with visitors.

“Our local tourism operators had spoken about wanting to learn more about local culture and I think that’s really important,” Ms Parker said.

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“There’s an awareness that we’re on Wiradjuri country and that it’s such a significant part of the city, and Uncle James brings a really hands-on, authentic experience.

“We also want to help provide that platform for Aboriginal people as well as our tourism operators to come together and share stories through this workshop.”

group on levee

Uncle James Ingram will host an immersive walking tour for tourism operators. Photo: Chris Roe.

Ms Parker explained that visitor numbers had been steadily increasing in the wake of COVID-19.

“We’re starting to see many visitors moving around the state, especially after the Easter school holiday period, with lots of caravans and plenty of families just wanting to explore the region,” she said.

“We’re even starting to see some international visitors; not quite back to pre-pandemic, but it’s certainly welcome.”

Finally, it’s hoped that business, event organisers and tourism operators will have the chance to interact and find connections.

“These workshops will also provide networking opportunities for industry to build positive working relationships with each other and consider collaborative projects that further promote Wagga Wagga as a leading tourism and events destination,” Ms Parker said.

The Tourism and Events Masterclass Series kicks off on Monday (8 May) and you can find out more or book here.

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