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Stakeholder Update | Special edition: COVID-19

In this issue

Above: Man walking on the grounds of Nimbo Fork Lodge, Killimicat. Image credit: Destination NSW.

A message from our Chair

Three months into 2020 and the Riverina Murray region has endured bush fires, drought, floods and now a global pandemic.

This has been an extremely difficult and heart-breaking time for business owners, who have worked and battled so hard to establish and sustain their organisations. Too many operators have had to endure the most unwelcome task of standing down loyal and hard-working staff, in many cases considered family. Combined with declining revenue, restrictions on trade, and uncertainty regarding when conditions will improve, this period is undoubtedly presenting us with our greatest challenge.

The silver lining, as always, has been the heart-warming way our community rallies together to support one another, as we all do our best to leverage the limited opportunities presenting themselves.

Of course, it is hoped that COVID-19 can be contained as soon as possible, so we can all move forward with promoting our wonderful offering for visitors to our magnificent region. In the meantime, Destination Riverina Murray remains committed to supporting and assisting stakeholders across our visitor economy, to sustain as many businesses as possible for when conditions improve.

A range of government grants, tax relief and wage subsidies have been announced to support small business operators, and you can find links to both State and Federal Government websites on the Resources page of our Destination Riverina Murray website.

In an effort to maintain revenue for tourism businesses in the Riverina Murray region, Destination Riverina Murray has developed an innovative online campaign to promote online and takeaway offerings available from businesses throughout the region. Many consumers are stuck at home with little to do and we must seize this opportunity to drive short term business sales and to promote our region, so that visitors return again when the time is right. Details of how your business can benefit from this focused and appealing campaign are outlined below.

If you, or anyone you know is struggling emotionally during this time, please reach out for support and assistance. Lifeline (call 131 114) and the Wagga Women’s Health Centre (call 6921 3333) offer free telephone counselling. Resources such as Beyond Blue can also save lives and help people get through dark periods.

In 2021, when we look back on this devastating time, we will never forget the small acts of kindness, generosity, support and care that we were able to extend, and that were extended to us, by the people we know in our strong and resilient community.

Please look after yourselves and each other. You can reach out to me at any time.

Genevieve Fleming, Chair, Destination Riverina Murray

Genevieve Fleming
Chair, Destination Riverina Murray

Destination Riverina Murray launches industry support campaign: We've Got the Goods

Destination Riverina Murray launches industry support campaign: We've Got the Goods

Our tourism industry is facing unprecedented challenges and now more than ever it is critical that local communities support local businesses, in the hope that they can survive long enough to emerge out the other side. Local businesses will be one of the most important parts of the region’s recovery, determining our ability to welcome visitors back in the future.

In order to support local businesses, we're making use of our existing My Riverina Murray platforms which have previously hosted Instagram competitions, and we'll be sharing the ways businesses across the region are adapting to current challenges in order to serve their customers, hoping that by amplifying their messages, we can play our part to help sustain as many local businesses as possible.

Converting a sit-down restaurant service into takeaway and delivery, moving a traditional bricks and mortar retail offering to an online shop, and holding virtual wine tastings, tours and gym classes are just some of the inspiring examples we hope to share.

How to get involved


COVID-19: Offical government information sources 

The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and is causing much concern within the tourism and events industry.

We encourage operators to keep abreast of current developments and advice through official government channels outlined below. Rather than sharing articles and updates from media or other sources, providing links to the appropriate Government source of truth is encouraged.

NSW Government websites + resources

The NSW Government has an official COVID-19 (coronavirus) web page which houses links to all relevant information, updates, advice and resources.



Australian Government websites + resources

Stay up to date with the Federal Government’s latest information about the spread of COVID-19 and the steps being taken to slow the spread. This page also links to the Federal Government response to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the current situation and case numbers.

Tourism Australia: Government support and assistance for the tourism industry

Tourism Australia has compiled links for a range of support and relief assistance for tourism businesses from Australian, State and Territory governments.

Office of Local Government – information for councils

The Office of Local Government (OLG) is working closely with the State Emergency Operations Centre and other relevant government agencies to assist local councils to manage COVID-19 in their local communities.

OLG is contacting councils regularly, focusing on those with confirmed cases, to identify needs and issues and provide information and resources.

ACCC information for business and consumers

Find the latest information on consumer rights, travel and event cancellations in relation to COVID-19 on the ACCC's website.

You can also contact the ACCC with consumer and small business questions or concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to high volumes of enquiries, making contact through their online channels is encouraged:

Keeping up with the latest news?

In between our monthly emails (and special editions like this one), we regularly share tourism and events industry updates for operators in our region over on LinkedIn and Instagram, and encourage you to follow along for the latest news.

We also encourage all tourism operators, councils and event owners to subscribe to industry updates from Destination NSW and Tourism Australia:
  • Destination NSW’s weekly industry bulletin, Insights, is distributed every Friday with industry news and information on marketing campaigns, events, development opportunities and research.
  • Published every Wednesday, Essentials provides updates on Tourism Australia's campaigns, Australian tourism industry news and events as well as industry opportunities and new destination and product news.

Resources for businesses

We've gathered a number of webinars and other resources relevant to the tourism and events industry, and are regularly updating our website's Resources page.
WEBINAR SERIES | Tourism Australia

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Tourism Australia is hosting a series of weekly webinars with different guest speakers.
1:1 CONSULTS, TUTORIALS + MORE | Grow With Google 

Despite postponing the in person training events in our region, the Grow with Google team is pleased to offer you a limited opportunity to have a 1:1 consultation via phone or video with a Google Small Business Specialist. Their website houses free training, tools and events to help you grow your skills, career, or business. 
WAGGA RESOURCES + SUPPORT | Live local. Be local.

Wagga Wagga City Council has partnered with a number of local organisations to support businesses with resources and support, along with online networking opportunities through their Live local. Be local. platform.
REPORT | Six proactive strategies for tourism businesses 

Tourism Tribe has shared six strategies for tourism businesses to increase the effectiveness of their marketing and hit the ground running when we are through this crisis.
FACEBOOK LIVE | Industry Survive and Revive 

The Travel Industry Hub and C&M Travel Recruitment have partnered with Travel Daily to launch a series of Facebook Live sessions dedicated to the industry in response to the current situation.

The series has been designed to provide encouragement, motivation, support and value from a line-up of experts across various fields.

Get in touch 

If you've got feedback or suggestions for how we can best support tourism operators, destinations and events owners within the Riverina Murray during this time, get in touch and let us know.
Destination Riverina Murray NSW
Destination Riverina Murray acknowledges the many Aboriginal Nations and Aboriginal People of the Riverina Murray region as the traditional carers and custodians of the land that we all now live and work on. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging. Destination Riverina Murray values the diversity of this region and works in partnership with local Aboriginal communities to respectfully celebrate and share Aboriginal culture with visitors to the region and also with locals who live here.
Copyright © 2020 Destination Riverina Murray, All rights reserved.

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