Grab your boots, grab your hat and go learn where your lamb comes from.
In the latest bid to grow food-based tourism in the Riverina, pundits have jumped on board with an idea from Wagga businesswoman Judy Galloway to develop the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre (LMC) into a tourist destination.
While the LMC is open to anybody, Ms Galloway asked why it had not been promoted to international and national tourist markets.
“A lot of people in the city think their beef comes from a polystyrene plate in the supermarket,” she said.
“We need to work out our point of difference and here is a great agritourism asset.”
Wagga livestock agent James Tierney, of Riverina Livestock Agents, said the saleyards were unique in many ways.
“The sheer volume of it should make it an attractive destination,” he said.
“It’s the biggest set of saleyards in the country and the southern hemisphere for that matter. We have livestock coming from a 500 to 600-kilometre radius.
“Not much stands still for long.”
Council’s commercial and economic development director, Peter Adams, said the LMC was promoted in a visitor tourist guide and the tourists that did visit the site included schools and coach groups.
“The feedback has been consistently positive,” he said.
Ms Galloway said she believed the facility could be better marketed with a broad information-based tour, which would take tourists from the weigh scale to the fall of the hammer.
“You could put together a really good package … here we are a clean, green food bowl and this is an example of that,” she said.
Expanding the tourist potential of the LMC would add to “experience-driven” tourism, which is seen as a method to keep visitors in the Riverina for longer.
The idea is to provide a rolling list of events and activities ultimately leading to to a bigger tourism spend.
Wagga mayor Rod Kendall said Ms Galloway’s proposal had merit, adding that it was an idea that should first be explored by the Riverina Regional Tourism body.
“Certainly from an educational point of view, you could certainly see the potential there,” he said.
“How you would fit that in with the core operations would have to be part of a broader discussion.”
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