A new model for visitor services
Published on 28 April 2021
A new approach to attracting and serving visitors to the Rural City of Wangaratta is proposed in a draft document approved to go on public consultation at this month’s Council meeting.
The Draft Visitor Services Strategy aims to: assist in driving visitation and increase expenditure across the municipality; increase exposure of the Rural City of Wangaratta as a tourist destination; and provide innovative and informative information delivery solutions.
It has been developed after an extensive review of current visitor information services, which found that physical visits to the Wangaratta Visitor Information Centre have been declining, with visitors instead shifting to using websites, social media and other touchpoints to research their holidays or find information when in region.
Key directives in the draft strategy are to decentralise physical visitor services, embrace and invest in digital services; and engage and empower tourism businesses and residents.
The proposal to decentralise physical visitor services would involve the potential relocation of the visitor information centre to somewhere within the Wangaratta Government Centre and the arts precinct area, and establishing visitor information hubs in Glenrowan, Milawa and Whitfield.
It is not proposed these changes on how we deliver visitor services into the future would result in less jobs; staff would work within the new identified sites, visit the satellite visitor hubs and would visit the satellite visitor hubs, as well as continuing to expand digital services, like optimising websites and social media and chat platforms.
Mayor Dean Rees said the draft strategy was about shifting Council’s approach to visitor services to where visitors want us to be.
“Numbers at the visitor centre have been declining by an average of 8.4% each year over the past five years,” he said.
“The draft strategy gives clear advice on where visitors are accessing their information and steps we can take to meet their needs to make sure the Rural City of Wangaratta’s tourism industry is strong and appropriately supported well into the future.
“This is a draft strategy so I would welcome anyone to read it and provide us with your feedback.”
The draft strategy is on public consultation until 9 June 2021.
Public consultation drop-in sessions will be held:
- Monday 10 May, 1pm-3pm, Wangaratta Government Centre, Ovens Street
- Friday 21 May, 10am-12pm, Wangaratta Visitor Information Centre, Murphy Street
- Saturday, 22 May, 9am-12pm, Milawa Country Market
Draft Visitor Services Strategy 2021