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    BUILDING CONNECTIONS: Tania Jacobs, of The Tourism Ninja, will be in western and northern Wimmera towns next month to help businesses connect with tourist experiences, as part of a free State Government initiative.

Bolstering tourism through Silo Art Trail

By Michael Scalzo

A tourism-marketing leader is hoping to better integrate western and northern Wimmera silo art tourist experiences with existing businesses and organisations. 

Wimmera Mallee Business Training Program, promoted by West Wimmera Shire Council and Wimmera Mallee Tourism, has enlisted the service of tourism specialist Tania Jacobs, of The Tourism Ninja, for a 12-month training program. 

The State Government-funded initiative, valued at $3000 per enrolled business, aims to develop the region’s business and tourism relationship offering, as silo art attracts more tourists. 

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Ms Jacobs said the Wimmera was well placed to take advantage of a ‘pent-up demand’ for travel. 

“After pandemic restrictions, the Australian road trip has become king and we have seen a huge trend towards this style of travel,” she said.

“Given the increased cost of living, and petrol specifically, people from Melbourne might not want to go as far as the Northern Territory anymore.

“They can get a fantastic outback experience in the Wimmera, and with the extraordinary silo art, the region is attracting fantastic attention.”

Ms Jacobs said the program sought to offer support to customer-facing businesses and volunteer organisations to integrate their visitor experiences with tourist demands. 

“The Wimmera is a fantastic region, but businesses need support to offer a great experience and better connect visitor experiences with existing tourism attractions, and with other businesses,” she said. 

“For some, it might mean improving street appeal to make sure people coming past think, ‘wow, I will come in and have a look’. 

“For others, it might be a connection between other business in the town or the region – ‘If you like what I do, you will love this related business or experience nearby’.

“Or it might be that businesses have a great offering, but what is their marketing doing to improve their visitor reach?”

Ms Jacobs said the program was designed specifically for the Wimmera and Mallee. 

“It’s a 12-month program where I come up three times to meet with businesses and see how they are going with a program we have put in place,” she said.

“Our meetings help with accountability and make everyone more motivated to put some practices in place.

“It is about making business goals and then working towards them together.”

Ms Jacobs said the program would start in July and applications, from all customer-facing businesses and volunteer organisations from Yarriambiack, Buloke, Hindmarsh and West Wimmera shires, were encouraged. 

Application links can be found on related council websites. 

The entire June 22, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!