More than 60 Mount Isa residents representing all industries took a deep dive into the city's future tourism opportunities this month, led by consultants Firstpoint Marketing and Communications.
Initiated by Mount Isa City Council, the Tourism Strategy will be released later this year and will give the city and region greater direction that ever before regarding the future of tourism in the North West and the current untapped opportunities in the growing market of outback tourism.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch said tourism was a major focus of the current Council and supported by ongoing data, the industry was growing at a rapid rate, particularly in outback regions.
"Diversification of this city is extremely important and expanding our tourism market is a real and very viable option. We're all in the business of tourism out here and there are opportunities to be had, we just have to identify them and work together to achieve greater outcomes," Cr McCulloch said.
"The tourism strategy workshops held this month allowed us to gain stakeholder input on regional opportunities and constraints to help guide a clear direction and collaborative plan for tourism in Mount Isa for the next five years."
Some of the opportunities identified early on include future potential for the area around Lake Moondarra, in particular the reserve formally known as Lion's Youth Camp, which has been earmarked for development to create a glamping eco village aimed at boosting the tourism market and enhancing the region's appeal as a premier outback destination as well as providing a valuable community resource benefitting workshops, conferences, school camps and events.
The potential to develop local indigenous product was strongly supported by workshop attendees, who suggested there was a market for the strong cultural identity attached to Mount Isa and the frequent request for information on the subject by visitors to the city.
Fossils were also discussed as an important part of Mount Isa's tourism product and something that could be further enhanced in line with the city's positioning as the gateway to the World Heritage Listed Riversleigh Fossil Site, which is listed as being among the world's 10 greatest fossil sites.
The Mount Isa Tourism Strategy will feature a number of achievable outcomes with the end goal of ensuring the long-term viability and sustainability of tourism to drive the region's economy, promoting liveability, visitation and investment.
Supported by the State Government's newly released North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy and the Premier's ongoing commitment to Outback Tourism, Mount Isa City Council are confident that funding opportunities will be strongly supported moving into the city's future of expanded outback tourism.
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