Whyalla has plenty to offer however it needs to market itself better especially in terms of its main gateway from the north.
This is according to the leader in the legislative council and shadow minister for tourism, agriculture, primary industries and environment David Ridgway who visited Whyalla last week.
While in Whyalla, Mr Ridgway said he gauged that residents had a lot of pride in the city however this needed to be relayed to rest of the world.
"You look at what Whyalla has to offer and it's actually a really attractive place to come live and to come visit," Mr Ridgway said.
"It has a whole range of services and natural offerings that a lot of places don't have."
Mr Ridgway said Whyalla was in a prime location on the coast which offered picturesque sea views, a great sunny climate and water activities like adventure sports and fishing.
"A lot of people don't realise those opportunities are here," Mr Ridgway said.
Mr Ridgway said the state Liberal government wanted to further showcase what South Australia's regions had to offer.
"We think that regions right across the state but especially Whyalla, the north and the west, really have a lot of potential," Mr Ridgway said.
"We want to have a much greater regional focus when we look at tourism opportunities in the future."
Mr Ridgway said this meant looking at developing a number of initiatives to support the regions more as well as taking ideas that had worked well in some areas and learning from ideas that have not.
Tourism Australia is currently focussing on 'restaurant Australia' which is all about marketing food and wine tourism.
"South Australia is the best placed state from a food and wine perspective so hopefully we can get some bigger focus on the regions on food and wine and link that to the natural beauty that we have in Whyalla and other parts of the state," Mr Ridgway said.
Mr Ridgway said he agreed with Liberal candidate for the seat of Giles Bernadette Abraham that Whyalla needed a more attractive entranceway from the north to step out from its "industrial-town" shadow.
"She wants to make sure that we position Whyalla in a tourism sense," Mr Ridgway said.
Mrs Abraham said Whyalla needed to further diversify its industries and there was great potential for tourism in the city.
"Tourism is one of the few sustainable industries which have long-term growth potential but the government has ignored regions like Whyalla and the outback," Mrs Abraham said.
"If elected in March, I'll work to ensure a better relationship between the Tourism Commission and small business operators in this important economic sector."
Mrs Abraham said in saying this, Whyalla needed to better market and promote itself to visitors as well as new residents to set itself apart from other regions.
"However, regions themselves compete for interstate and intrastate visitors and I'd like to see a better 'gateway' to Whyalla for visitors coming in from the north," Mrs Abraham said.
"I think it would create a much better impression of Whyalla if the site was cleaned up."
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