Flinders Ranges & Outback Tourism Forum in Port Augusta

FORUM: Master of Ceremonies Max Anderson kicks off the Flinders Ranges and Outback Tourism Forum.
FORUM: Master of Ceremonies Max Anderson kicks off the Flinders Ranges and Outback Tourism Forum.

The first-ever Flinders Ranges and Outback Tourism Forum was held at the Central Oval Complex on November 12-13, focusing on nature-based tourism and business development in the region.

The two-day event, organised by the South Australian Tourism Industry Council and Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australian Tourism, attracted a sell-out crowd of 145 people.

With 14 award finalists at the South Australian Tourism Awards coming from the Flinders Ranges, including SA Tourism Hall of Fame inductee Wrightsair, the forum was a chance to highlight the tourism opportunities in the second most visited region in the state.

Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North Communications and Tourism Officer Carly Archer said the forum was a good networking opportunity.

“The forum was a good way for people to connect and talk about ideas to get that creative thinking happening again,” Ms Archer said.

“It just goes to show that people want to have these conversations and connect with people within their industry, and learn from different people to find new ideas to apply to their own business.”

The event featured key note speeches from Yalumba winemaker Jane Ferrari and sheep grazier David Elliott, who turned his outback community into a “tourism mecca” after discovering dinosaur bones in one of his paddocks.

Business structure and growth, tourism strategies, distribution and commission, and economic growth were some of the topics of discussion at the forum.

Representatives from the Department for Environment and Water, South Australian Tourism Commission and Ecotourism Australia all provided tips and information for local business operators.

Ms Archer said one of the highlights of the event was the focus on digital marketing initiatives.

“There’s a whole new wave of opportunities to digitally market your business and a lot of people in our region aren’t savvy at it just yet,” she said.