As we start to wind down from the traditional tourist season in Mount Isa, I'd like to encourage the city to keep tourism at the forefront of our minds and keep one eye on the future opportunities ahead of us.
Most reports will tell us that outback tourism is a rapidly growing market, as it expands from the traditional grey nomad market to the rising number of young families who are taking to the road, to wealthy travellers looking for someone uniquely Australian, and adventurous international visitors - we can be well placed to offer something to everyone.
Council recently initiated a Tourism Strategy for Mount Isa and held several workshops inviting more than 60 residents from across all industries in Mount Isa who collaborated to provide 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.
The opportunity for diversification is very real here in Mount Isa and expanding our tourism market is a very sensible and viable option.
There were some very valuable responses from the workshops that demonstrated the shared opinion throughout the city that there is so much potential in our region.
Some of the strongest feedback was around the use of Lake Moondarra.
In particular there is an option for glamping style eco village to provide unique accommodation to visitors as well as providing a community resource for events and functions, the potential to develop local indigenous product, and investing further into fossil tourism 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.
Excitingly, the recent news that Council have awarded a tender to Focus Productions to begin the Riversleigh Revitalisation Project after the State Government's $1.23 million funding in late 2018, puts us in a position to unveil a spectacular addition to Outback at Isa in 2020, and propel fossil tourism in the region exponentially.
I eagerly await the finalisation of the Mount Isa Tourism Strategy later this year and the amazing future of tourism in Mount Isa that a city-wide collaboration can achieve.