After bouncing back from the devastating bushfires and the global pandemic, Kangaroo Island is continuing to build on its experiences for visitors thanks to Federal funding through Austrade’s Regional Recovery for Tourism Program.
The townships of Kingscote, Penneshaw, and American River have benefitted from the development of spectacular town walks, that highlight the beautiful coastlines, wildlife, history, art, and island character.
“This was a collaborative project between the Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance, the Progress Associations, and the Kangaroo Island Council to develop and build on the interpretation with the aid of trail building specialists Tredwell Management. The outcomes, we think, are brilliant” Megan Harvie, Regional Tourism Manager of the Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance said.
“The walks have been designed to highlight each of our towns, encourage our visitors to stay and enjoy our towns longer, really get to know us, and of course inject more into our economy”.
“The Progress Associations were instrumental in this process, they know their towns extremely well, and to watch them working with the specialists engaged to deliver great outcomes was really satisfying, the results speak for themselves,” Megan said.
Each of the walks has an element of citizen science so that visitors can help the community. While the trails are there for walking, we also want visitors to help us out with echidna data collection, recording data from newly installed Passport to Recovery’s Oyster Reefs, or taking a snap to keep an eye on beach sand movements. The walks are also supported with further digital information, so that visitors can diver deeper and learn more.
The Regional Recovery for Tourism Program is an initiative of the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. Kangaroo Island was eligible as the tourism industry is heavily reliant on international tourism and was identified by Austrade through its selection criteria. The Island’s Regional Tourism Organisation, the Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance was allocated the responsibility for identifying and delivering projects.
The Program funding also delivered Silo painting at Kingscote, extensive trade packaging collaborations with Flight Centre Travel Group and Holidays of Australia; significant marketing with SeaLink Travel Group; content and imagery shoots; a new destination marketing plan, which saw the rollout of a new destination website; and the Island’s first dedicated marketing plan, which implemented the highly successful ‘Unfiltered Kangaroo Island’ campaign. Operators on the Island were able to access dedicated specialist mentoring to improve their experience and business operations. The industry also undertook some significant cluster work; from events mentoring, customer service, nature and wildlife, and sustainability. The program has left the Island with a huge legacy, something that cannot be replicated.
“I congratulate the Kangaroo Island Tourism Alliance, the local Progress Associations, and Kangaroo Island Council for working together on this wonderful tourism recovery project” Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell said.
“The town walking trails will further strengthen Kangaroo Island’s growing and deserved reputation as a quality tourism destination. The trails will showcase some of the Island’s postcard coastal landscapes, its abundant wildlife, and rich history. The project was a worthy recipient of funding from Austrade’s Recovery for Regional Tourism program.” the Minister said.