A MOBILE phone app, a centralised online booking service, and more outdoor activities like a luge track are just some of the ideas to attract more tourists to Orange.
Orange City Council’s Tourism Development Strategy for the next 10 years identifies the gaps in the local tourism sector and suggests options to address the issues.
The plan identifies a lack of quality accomodation and the impression that the city is “dead” on the weekends because of short retail trading hours as some of the main challenges for tourism.
Enterprise services director Stephen Sykes said the public would have the opportunity to give feedback about the plan during the exhibition period.
“The base survey [on accomodation] was taken at the most intense time in the city,” he said.
“It will be interesting to see the views now the pressure has began to lift.”
The most common reason for visiting Orange is to see friends and family, accounting for 39 per cent of the market, followed by business at 26 per cent, holiday and leisure at 25 per cent, and other reasons at 10 per cent.
Mr Sykes said the plan suggested Orange was doing a good job at using food and wine as the primary PR for the region but should work with the private sector to establish other more active attractions such as a luge track at the Earth Sanctuary near the Lake Canobolas Reserve.
“In terms of market segmentation we’re beginning to see that young market interested in food and wine but also looking for other things to do,” he said.
Council intends to continue its involvement with Taste Orange to publicise the city’s attractions and will also work with National Parks and Wildlife to open up access for mountain bikes around Mount Canobolas.
A smartphone app will also be considered as a way to give visitors information about accommodation and the opening times of wineries, restaurants and other attractions to overcome the “dead” image attached to the city on a weekend when some businesses may close.
Gaps in Orange's tourism sector:
Lack of accommodation.
Need for quality 4+ star accommodation.
Lack of quality family-orientated holiday park-style caravan parks.
Shortage of conference facilities.
Link health services and education markets with tourism.
Limited attraction base with an emphasis on food and wine.
More sophisticated wine produce offerings.
Retail trade closed on weekends.
Lack of signage.
Need for more flights at airport and cheaper airfares.
New holiday (caravan) park.
Low impact environmentally sensitive facilities at Mount Canobolas summit.
An adventure attraction at the Earth Sanctuary site e.g. a two-lane luge track.
Cluster of eco-chalets at Lake Canobolas.
Purpose-built conference venue and connecting hotel.
Outdoor civic stage.
Position Orange as offering pet-friendly accommodation.
Creation of a mobile phone application to promote Orange.