Wheatbelt businesses spark ideas for new immersive tourism ventures

Isabel VieiraNarrogin Observer
Participants in the Narrogin Tourism Experience Workshop.
Camera IconParticipants in the Narrogin Tourism Experience Workshop. Credit: Supplied/Participants in the Narrogin Tourism Experience Workshop., Supplied

Ideas and opportunities for immersive tourism activities in the southern Wheatbelt were shared among local businesses who attended a workshop at Downderry Wines on October 26.

More than 10 Narrogin businesses attended the tourism experience workshop hosted by Tourism WA in partnership with Regional Tourism Organisations and Australia’s Golden Outback.

Experts were there to help business owners develop ideas around immersive tourism opportunities such as agritourism, dark sky tourism, unique accommodation and wildflower tourism.

Angus Armstrong, whose family owns Armstrong Farmlands, a wheat and sheep farm 30km from Narrogin, said he attended the workshop to learn more about the viability of his tourism development ideas.

“My family has been farming in the Nomans Lake area for around 60 years, and when I heard about the workshop I decided at the last minute that I’d go,” he said.

“I started a mountain bike trail on our farm as a hobby and it has now grown to 18km of trail. I recently decided I would like to make it available to the public and also look at other potential tourism offerings such as accommodation.”

Mr Armstrong said the workshop helped him to look at other tourism ventures he could pursue.

“After hitting a roadblock with the mountain bike trail, the tourism experience workshop helped me to regain interest in agritourism, even dark sky tourism got my attention,” he said. “I’m planning to have further discussions and get advice to see if the business would be viable.”

Workshops were also held in Mount Barker and Ferguson with more workshops expected to be hosted in 2022.

Tourism WA destination development acting executive director Renata Lowe said the workshops were an opportunity for regional businesses to learn from industry experts.

“Narrogin was the ideal location to hold the final tourism experience workshop, with the town’s huge potential in the area of dark sky tourism and agritourism, as well as unique accommodation offerings,” she said.

“We’ve had some great feedback from the series, with people showing real pride in what their area has to offer as well as optimism for what can be achieved in agritourism and new tourism experiences.”

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