UNITY NEEDED: Tracey Valenzisi.
A Riverina tourism heavyweight has called on the region’s businesses to set aside their differences and work together for the “greater good”.
Tracey Valenzisi was speaking after claiming an Inland Tourism gong for her outstanding contributionto regional tourism.
Ms Valenzisi said one of the biggest impediments to tourism growth in the Riverinawas operators acting in self-interest.
“There are some really good operators out there doing some really great things,” she said.
“But then there are some people that say ‘I don’t want to work with that business because they are my competitor’, so we really do need to bring the industry together a bit more.”
Ms Valenzisi,who is also a Leeton Shire councillor, highlighted her biggest achievementas boosting the profile of regional tourism and making governments aware of its value.
However, she said one of the Riverina’s biggest drawcards –its status as Australia’s food bowl –was still undersold.
“Riverina Regional Tourism (RRT) has done a lot to promote agritourism, but there are still a few pockets and large commercial operators that can go further,” Ms Valenzisi said.
“That takes time and it takes dollars and that’s something that is scarce –the dollars –so it’s important the whole industry comes together.”
Last week, RRT chairman Greg Lawrence said it was up to farmers to realise that opening up their properties to tourists could be a “golden opportunity”if they had the time.
That, according to Ms Valenzisi, would add to experience-driven tourism –the idea that tourists need a range of rolling activities to keep them in the area and, importantly, spending money.
Others Riverina award-winners includedFood I Am’s Tania Sibrey,Lockhart’s Sculpture and Heritage Trail and the Greater Hume Visitor Information Centre.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.