Cashing in on farm and nature tourism

Rose Wright is the project co-ordinator for a new initiative to encourage farm and nature tourism.

Southern Cross University and the Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre are set to launch a major initiative in farm and nature tourism.

For the first time in Australia, an extensive program will be available to people wishing to develop their farm-based and nature tourism proposals into working businesses.

The initial pilot project will focus on the Northern Rivers and if successful, will be rolled out in regional areas across NSW and the rest of Australia.

The project begins this month, with an invitation to interested people to attend a series of Tourism on Your Property Field Days in Lismore, Kyogle, Byron Bay and the Clarence Valley.

Project co-ordinator Rose Wright said each year the Northern Rivers attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists with many seeking a nature-based experience in the areas unique coastal and rural landscape.

Through this exciting initiative, farmers and rural landowners will have the opportunity to investigate tourism as a diversification option to their core business, said Ms Wright. This will further add to the regions incredible visitor appeal and also open up new streams of revenue to farmers, rural land owners and people who may not hold any land, but have a great farm or nature tourism idea they would like help to develop.

The field days will be held in Byron on October 23, in Lismore on October 24, in the Clarence Valley on October 25 and in Kyogle on October 26.

During the field days, participants will be given invaluable insights into important issues to consider prior to investing time and resources into developing a tourism business.

The tourism field days will be interactive, said Ms Wright. Participants will not only listen to industry experts, but will also undertake a simple assessment program that will help them identify if their property and their area are suitable for nature or agri-based tourism.

People wishing to attend the tourism field days must register in advance to reserve a place. Contact Kylie Causley on 6626 9431 or email kylie.causley@scu.edu.au by Thursday, October 19.

For more information about the project contact Rose Wright on 0427 232 246, email rose.wright@scu.edu.au or visit www.regionaltourism.com.au.


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