Indigo Shire hosts more than 600,000 day trippers over a year

BRINGING PEOPLE IN: Crowds flock to the street market at Rutherglen's Winery Walkabout on Sunday. Picture: MARK JESSER
BRINGING PEOPLE IN: Crowds flock to the street market at Rutherglen's Winery Walkabout on Sunday. Picture: MARK JESSER

Almost three times as many people visit Indigo Shire for the day than stay overnight, a difference the council’s new tourism plan aims to reduce.

The Indigo Destination Game Changer 2023 Tourism Strategy now out for public comment notes the shire hosts 623,000 day trippers and 230,000 overnight visitors annually.

Tourism, marketing and digital officer Peter Quon said Indigo’s proximity to regional centres like Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta contributed to that.

“In comparison to some areas, such as Bright, our number of beds would be significantly less, so by nature of that, we just don’t have that availability,” he said.

 "The regional visitation, say from those big centres, the days trips, is fantastic, and we want to continue that, but we just want to attract people to be able to come for a bit longer stay, obviously that would bring a higher yield for our business operators.

“Also there’s room for development for new accommodation and more in general.”

Mr Quon encouraged people to submit feedback or attend the strategy drop in sessions planned for Rutherglen, Chiltern, Yackandandah and Beechworth between July 4 and 10.

Indigo economic development and tourism advisory council deupty chairman Kevin Mayhew said making sure visitors knew all the shire had to offer remained vital.

“Moreso than at any stage in the past I see communities working together in much more practical ways at promoting each other and working hand in hand to ensure the tourist comes back or stays overnight,” he said.

“That was no more apparent than at the weekend when we had so many people visit us on the Sunday and Monday from the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout to the Chiltern Art Prize.” 

Mr Mayhew said plans needed to be made now about what the tourist of the future wanted.

“They want to get maximum output for their time in our shire,” he said.

“We’re in a transition phase from what you might loosely call the traditional tourist, which is the grey nomad who visits the area, to the millennials.”

While you’re with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each day at 6am from The Border Mail? To make sure you’re up to date with all the Border and North East news, visit our homepage and sign up