Diversifying during drought

With the ongoing drought taking a real toll on the local agriculture industry, the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council knew that it was crucial to diversify the region’s income streams and support the local economy and broader community.

The Barcoo Way

Given it is such a beautiful area, it was an obvious choice to focus on developing the tourism industry. With the support of a Tackling Tough Times Together grant of $45,000, funded by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and Qantas, the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council engaged a skilled tourism consultant to work with local stakeholders to identify and develop a ‘tourism trail’ and assist with the development and creation of a promotional website.

With the help of the tourism consultant the council was able to develop products and services around the river, landscape, local connections, regional stories, culture and heritage, events, and food and lifestyle. Five regional photographers were engaged to help capture the trail and bring it to life on the website.

The outcome was ‘The Barcoo Way’, a tourist trail perfect for families and adventurers. It appeals to thrill seekers and road trippers seeking access to places ‘off the beaten track.’

The grant not only supported the development of The Barcoo Way but also enabled the regional council to promote the tourist attraction and raise awareness of the trail far and wide.

And it’s working! Since its launch in May 2018, there has been a huge increase of visits and bookings at campsites along the Barcoo Way route; each campsite saw over an 850% increase. With an increase of tourism in the area, the regional council is seeing a positive flow-on effect for the local economy, making a huge difference in dire times of drought.

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