“Creating experiences that resonate” was the focus of a workshop conducted in the Capertee Valley on Saturday to assist tourism operators and community groups to move to a coordinated approach to developing tourism product in the Valley and the surrounding region.

Following on from the development of the Draft Seven Valleys Destination Action Plan, the Council is now hosting a series of workshops with communities across the LGA (Local Government Area) to assist them to identify and develop the experiences that will attract and retain visitors in our area.  Mayor Maree Statham said that “Council is looking forward to working with communities across the LGA this year to assist in developing their tourism product while creating a strong marketing program and strategy for the communities that make up the Seven Valleys.”

Led by Carl Solomon from Destination Marketing Store, the Capertee Valley workshop focused on local tourism businesses working together to identify their product, their ideal visitor persona, and the experiences they have to offer.  “Don’t think about your attributes. The point of difference is not going to be defined by the fact that you are the widest canyon – which is just that, a fact.  Your point of difference is defined by the experience that people have while they are there.”

Director People and Places, Shaun Elwood, discussed the need to look at how we position ourselves as we transition our economy and that many people in rural areas are looking at alternative means of income to offset farming.   “The Council is looking at the current implications for potential agritourism businesses, while accepting that some restrictions are due to overarching State regulatory level requirements.  At a local level we have commenced a review of the Local Environment Plan zonings and types of permissible accommodation. This is a legislative process requiring approval by the Department of Planning which can take around two years to complete.”.

The Capertee Valley workshop follows on from a successful workshop held for the Wolgan Valley.  “Each community is different and has its own unique selling points and set of challenges”, noted Mr Elwood.  If you would like more information on Council’s strategic direction for tourism, you can view the Draft Seven Valleys Destination Action plan on www.ourplaceourfuture.lithgow.com