Business Victor Harbor present their new vision for economic development

Business Victor Harbor president Nick Gormley and deputy chair Mark Richards stand near Warland Reserve, a regional tourism hub.
Business Victor Harbor president Nick Gormley and deputy chair Mark Richards stand near Warland Reserve, a regional tourism hub.

Over the last nine to 10 months board members of Business Victor Harbor (BVH) have worked hard to review and re-positioning of itself to take on a leadership role in the economic development of the local community, says deputy chair Mark Richards.

Mr Richards said  BVH are focused on driving a vibrant sustainable and diverse community and following consultation with its members saw that private enterprise to be a “real driver” of economic enterprise. 

Mr Richards said in driving this agenda forward, it was up to the business community to support it and ensure its success. 

Mr Richards and BVH president Nick Gormley said the group had decided that if they look at tourism as a major economic factor of the community, what was “desperately” needed in Victor, was four-star accommodation. 

“Whilst we have a number of good smaller operators, they tend to be in different parts of the market,” Mr Richards said.

“But if we are going to be truly internationally competitive, which we have to be to survive, we have to be able to cater to an international market.”

Mr Gormley said when looking at other coastal tourism hubs across the country, like Mandurah, Coffs Harbor, Port Stephens and Port Lincoln a high-end accommodation presence existed.

“It is important to be able to capture and hold tourists in the area by way of accommodation and allow them to move freely through the region to drive economic development,” Mr Gormley said. “Data has revealed that the average spend of a day-tripper to the region sits at around $68 per family, but if they stay just one night, that goes to $138.” Mr Richards said it could also allow the capacity for tourism wholesalers to put packages together for accommodation and activities to do in the region and take it to the market to travel agencies to put it to the market.

“We have an internationally renowned walking track – The Heysen Trail – which starts right in our back yard and if we have a high-end accommodation facility nearby we would draw more tourists to the region,” he said.

Mr Gormley and Mr Richards said they would welcome any developers to bring their ideas to the BVH.