Region needs shared vision

INSIGHT: Assistant Tourism Minister Keith Pitt and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey were in Port Lincoln earlier this week for a tourism industry forum.
INSIGHT: Assistant Tourism Minister Keith Pitt and Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey were in Port Lincoln earlier this week for a tourism industry forum.

EYRE Peninsula tour operators have highlighted that a regional approach and better marketing of the region is what is needed to bring more tourists to the area. 

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey and Assistant Tourism, Trade and Investment Minister Keith Pitt hosted a forum at Boston Bay Wines on Tuesday.

The Fresh Fish Place owners Craig McCathie and Sandy Harder said issues like payroll tax and penalty rates were crippling to many small businesses.

They said high penalty rates meant they were unable to open on Sundays, which was the case for many in the region. 

“The main problem tourism in this town is facing is that it’s closed on Sunday.”

Other industry members sought more information about accessing funding for local festivals and proposals. 

Adventure Bay Charters owner Matt Waller said the region already had a body capable of linking events and tourism operators and that was through Regional Development Australia and Eyre Peninsula. 

He said the RDAWEP’s draft tourism strategy proposal was a solid template but there had been a lack of support from local councils to establish the plan.

Port Lincoln City Council mayor Bruce Green said the council had been hesitant to buy into the plan as it was under resourced and tourism was not seen as core business.

“We do lack a shared vision of key promotional activity which will lift the profile of the whole region,” he said. 

Mr Ramsey said it was good to get industry members together and it gave Mr Pitt an understanding of the region’s needs.