Over the years we have published several of Shane Strudwick’s passionate tourism efforts eg SA Coorong And Lakes A National Disaster? Who Cares?
Yesterday I received a disappointing and sad message to stakeholders and supporters of a recent tourism effort for the Murray – tri-state support for the region to be listed as a National Landscape. Shane writes:
“Thank you for your continued support with the Murray River Tri-State National Landscapes submission.
It is with much regret that the Steering Committee have voted unanimously to disband and the region’s submission to become a National Landscape will cease.
A letter from the Co-convenor, Mr Bruce Lever from the National Landscapes Reference Committee cited several reasons for our region’s denial.
- No general support from Tourism Victoria and Tourism NSW for the region
- Advice that the region lacks substantial international market ready and export ready product for the experience seeker market
Bruce noted there were optimistic signs that in time the region can develop regional cohesion and he believed that the enthusiasm that has been garnered for the National Landscapes candidacy will serve regional tourism development well.
The former committee felt a lot of good valued outcomes had been achieved and there were strong industry and community opportunities to embrace from this experience for the future of the Murray River Tri-State region. The National Landscapes initiative can always be reconsidered future down the track should our region’s circumstances change.
The Committee would also like to express its gratitude to the South Australian Tourism Commission and Riverland Development Corporation and other key stakeholders to did make a commitment to the region’s desire to become a future National Landscape.
As former chair I’d like to thank also those committee members and other parties who gave up their time, products and experience from both businesses and jobs to continually support the region’s applications.
Lots of great outcomes were achieved and I personally still believe the Murray River region has phenomenal, untapped potential in Australia’s tourism future.
We will be preparing the final minutes from the meeting and distributing those.”
After the determination and community effort put in Shane does believe the region, industry and community have found a new connection, belief and opportunities – outside Government management.
The project and the group have enjoyed good regional community support, so an existence outside government – away from demanding grant guidelines that never seem to fit a community’s vision – one based on mutual respect for what they have achieved, can be planned and the tourism potential developed as the small businessowners and community stakeholders wish it.
In my opinion regional business/community collaboration can achieve much.
I have just received a card from Marc Aussie-Stone who is untiring in his conviction that rural tourism can be a region’s economic saviour.
Perhaps Shane and Marc could speak – different ages and backgrounds BUT….?