Booming Travel and Tourism Industry in the Riverinam, NSW, Australia

Travel and Tourism in the Riverinam, NSW Australia is booming with the region's food and wine and the large range events drawing thousands of visitors to the region.

Booming Travel and Tourism Industry in the Riverinam, NSW, Australia

Travel and Tourism in the Riverinam, NSW Australia is booming with the region’s food and wine and the large range events drawing thousands of visitors to the region.

The Riverina is an agricultural region of south-western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.

Home to Aboriginal groups for over 40,000 years, the Riverina was originally settled by Europeans in the mid-19th century as a pastoral region providing beef and wool to markets in Australia and beyond. In the 20th century, the development of major irrigation areas in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys has led to the introduction of crops such as rice and wine grapes. The Riverina has strong cultural ties to Victoria, and the region was the source of much of the impetus behind the federation of Australian colonies.

Major population and service centres in the Riverina include the cities of Wagga Wagga, Albury and Griffith. Albury and Wagga Wagga are home to campuses of Charles Sturt University,

More and more visitors are coming from within NSW where there was a 10.4 per cent increase in holiday makers for the September quarter.

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“Visitation to NSW has grown quite substantially and for the Riverina region it has grown quite a bit,” executive officer for regional tourism Linda Tillman said

“We are starting to see a lot of people within NSW staying within NSW for their holiday so the state dispersal is really strong at the moment.”

But it isn’t just regional NSW visitors that are coming to the Riverina in droves, with strong inroads made with Sydneysiders and those north of the border.

“Overnight visitation has increased quite substantially and surprisingly we’ve been getting a lot of interest from the Queensland market and from Sydney as well as from regional NSW,” Mrs Tillman said.

“The other thing that is really positive is the number of overnight stays so not only are we getting an increase number of visitors come into the region, but the number of nights that they are staying has also increased.”

Mrs Tillman named a plethora of reasons for the increased tourism figures including the lower Australian dollar, a state government push to boost tourism figures and changes to Destination NSW to focus more on regional areas, but thought the main reason was the wonderful events and the food and wine experience industry the region has to offer.

Events such as the Deni Ute Muster, Griffith’s La Festa, Taste Riverina and the Wagga Gold Cup are some of the bigger Riverina drawcards, with Temora’s Aviation Museum, the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory and the region’s various wineries more permanent destinations.

“I think we are only going to see increased participation in regional NSW as it is really positive at the moment,” Mrs Tillman said.

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