19 Jan 2024

More than $300,000 flows to Mid Murray tourism operators


Juggle House Experiences, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong
Juggle House Experiences, Murray River, Lakes and Coorong

Caravan parks, houseboats, tour operators, shack accommodation and other Murray River tourism businesses significantly impacted by the once-in-a-century flooding event will receive a combined $315,000 boost from the State Government to support recovery.

Grants from $5,000 to $50,000 will be allocated to 14 tourism businesses throughout low-lying Murray River regions as part of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Mid Murray River Tourism Business Support Program.
The $315,000 in grants will assist tourism businesses in the Riverland and Murray River, Lakes & Coorong regions with critical recovery projects such as marketing, infrastructure replacement, powerhead installation, landscaping, cleaning, and equipment replacement. 
The project development will help increase the overall value of tourism products available in South Australia’s Murray River regions and support the future longevity of the businesses.  
The 14 businesses receiving grants under the Mid Murray River Tourism Business Support Program are:

  • Blanchetown Caravan Park
  • Cobdogla Station Caravan Park
  • Foxtale Hire Services
  • Frankie & Calla
  • Freedom Boat Hire
  • Griffens Marina Blanchetown
  • Mannum Oldwares & Curios
  • Morgan Riverside Caravan Park
  • Juggle House Experiences
  • Kingston On Murray Caravan Park
  • Rivergum Cruises
  • River Shack Rentals
  • Swan Reach River Retreat
  • Wow Houseboats 

The funding announcement comes as the Santos Tour Down Under Hahn’s Men’s Stage 4 starts in Murray Bridge today. It will be the first time the Santos Tour Down Under has been to Murray Bridge since 2020 – and the first ever Men’s stage start in Murray Bridge – further showcasing the region as it recovers from last summer’s flood event. 
A third round of the River Revival Voucher program launching next month will help continue recovery beyond the traditional peak summer period, with travel through until June. The voucher program has already injected $10.7 million into the Riverland and Murray River, Lakes & Coorong regions.
Prior to the 2022-23 flooding event, tourism in the two regions was worth a combined $436 million. In the year to June 2023, it is now worth a combined $562 million. 
The $315,000 Mid Murray River Tourism Business Support Program is part of the $500,000 Mid Murray Tourism Recovery Fund – a commitment from the State Government announced in February 2023 to provide recovery assistance to significantly impacted businesses along the low-lying regions of the Murray River.  
The Mid Murray Tourism Recovery Fund also included support for councils to support new and emerging events and dedicated marketing support for impacted tourism businesses.  
It is part of the $4.6 million river recovery plan, which also includes the ‘Rise Up for our River’ marketing campaign and the River Revival Voucher program. 

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said more than $300,000 in grants are flowing today to tourism businesses in low-lying Murray River areas who were hit particularly hard by the once-in-a-century flooding event.
"We haven’t taken our eyes off the river, making sure our support has been targeted to when and where it is most needed, and this latest financial boost will go a long way to helping businesses such as caravan parks and houseboat operators recover and welcome visitors the way they want to," Minister Bettison said.
"Helping further recovery efforts, it’s exciting the Santos Tour Down Under will return to the Murray River, Lakes & Coorong region – when Murray Bridge welcomes the race for the first time since 2020.
"I’ll be there today when Murray Bridge dons its ochre and blue for the Santos Tour Down Under Hahn’s Men’s Stage 4 start – which will be Murray Bridge’s first ever Men’s stage start.
"I cannot wait to be among the crowds of cycling enthusiasts at the start line on Bridge Street, which will see the international race shine a spotlight on our flourishing Murray River while boosting spending to operators still recovering from the major flood event last summer."
Juggle House Experiences/River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve Tours tour operator, Kelly Kuhn said as a tour operator showcasing the gems of the Mighty Murray, this cash injection multiplies providing aid to several businesses we visit.   
"This financial assistance provides confidence and enables us to build on efficiencies of our internationally declared Dark Sky Tours, including the creation of a pilot Mindfulness Aboriginal Astronomy event, purchase of vehicle equipment, development of online tools including a new website, astrophotography course and merchandise. 
"We could not be more grateful for this assistance as a shining light of hope starting our New Year with the opportunity to bounce back stronger. We have welcomed more people back to South Australia’s natural playground over summer and we look forward to this continuing."