Eyre Peninsula projects benefit from Tourism Industry Development Fund

An old rail carriage being turned into guest accommodation is the latest Eyre Peninsula tourism project to be assisted with funding from the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Twelve regional tourism development projects have been announced as recipients in the lastest grants from the Tourism Industry Development Fund, sharing in nearly $2 million in funds.

One of the projects is the Greenly Carriage at Coulta which will received $30,000 to help transform an old carriage into a studio apartment for up to 4-5 guests.

Luke and Tara Rowe are the people behind this $100,000 project, and had been something they had planned to do for a while.

Mr Rowe said they had looked for an opportunity to fit out an old carriage and one came about when they found out about an old carriage in a nearby paddock.

"We understand it was a workers quarters, a caboose from the back of the train where workers slept, which came from the northern end of Eyre Peninsula and spent 40 to 50 years off rail," he said.

"We like the idea of reclaiming something rather than starting from scratch."

Mr Rowe said work on transforming the carriage had only just begun and it was a "blank canvas" that had a huge amount of potential.

The project has a focus on using local busineses and materials, which includes involvement from local building company Taiga Build.

Mr Rowe said they were thankful for the grant which would help bring about the project's completion sooner.

"We're really happy and really proud to have won the grant and are really excited to have fast tracked our idea and bring it to fruition faster than we realised," he said.

Tourism commission chief executive officer Rodney Harrex said it was focused on helping to redirect the 11 million Australians who normally holidayed overseas to book and spend in SA.

"Through our $20 million Tourism Industry Development Fund, we're driving investment in regional tourism and accelerating plans for demand-driving infrastructure like new accommodation and improved visitor experiences," he said.

"It's fantastic to see operators like the Greenly Carriage in the Eyre Peninsula be able to pursue their plans which will help them attract more visitors and a higher spend, and bring benefits to the wider region."

This latest round of funding followed the announcement of the first round of funding in December, which saw nine projects share in funding.

One of these recipients was Venus Bay Beachfront Tourist Park which received a $94,695 to go towards the construction of two new two-bedroom accessible cabins.

Park owner Andrew Chapman said they were ecstatic with the announcement and this project would be able to provide an additional form accommodation to people with mobility issues.

"We will put two bedroom, fully contained luxury cabins on the beachfront, fit out with accessible bathrooms and wider doors so it can cater for people with mobility issues," he said.

Mr Chapman said the park was thankful to the commission, as well as to Elliston District Council who supported the application.

Mr Harrex said the commission had seen strong interest in the Eyre Peninsula from South Australians and increasingly interstate visitors as markets have opened up.

"Giving people more options about where to stay in places like Venus Bay, is just what our regions need to not only deliver an immediate shot-in-the-arm but also support long-term recovery," he said.

The $20 million fund runs until March 31 next year or until all funds have been allocated.