It is estimated that every tourist spends on average $127 per day in a community, which would be a significant and much needed economic boost for the drought stricken town of Wilcannia, NSW. Despite the need to improve tourism promotion, the local shire did not have the resources or financial security to properly do so. Furthermore, NSW Tourism does not promote the town of Wilcannia as a tourist destination - it is not even listed as town in promotion of the region.
To begin promoting the town as a popular tourist destination along the Long Paddock Cobb Highway Route, the Community Tourism Association was formed. Together they designed a tourism plan that included developing a tourism website, attending the Victorian Caravan and Camping Show, and distributing promotional materials offering local deals at the Show to encourage tourists to support the local businesses in Wilcannia.
To help Wilcannia put their plan into action, they were supplied with a $3,000 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program funded by ANZ Trustees.
Since attending the Caravan Show, the Community Tourism Association estimates over 50 people of whom they spoke to and gave their promotional material to have visited Wilcannia. This is expected to increase, since most of the show’s attendees were planning their trips in 2016. There has also been a 15% increase of online traffic to their website since the show.
The Wilcannia Community Tourism Association is excited to see their local tourism continue to grow, and the flow on effects it has for the rest of the community. They encourage all communities in similar situations to utilise pre-existing events and communities to promote tourism in their town, believing that it is the reason behind their success.