Tourism drive

A landmark Mount Gambier hotel is set to undergo a million-dollar refurbishment in a bid to champion the region’s “homegrown heroes”.

The Mount Gambier Hotel has received a $336,740 State Government grant as part of a $1.1m project to refurbish the venue.

The funding was allocated through the State Government’s Tourism Industry Development Fund. South Australian family-owned hotels group Matthews Hospitality owns the hotel, along with another three in Mount Gambier – Colhurst House B&B, South Eastern Hotel and Park Hotel.

Matthews Hospitality chief executive Andrew Kemp, pictured right, said the funding would “facilitate accommodation upgrades and the creation of local tours and overnight tourism packages”. “Matthews Hospitality venues have played an integral role in the Limestone Coast community for more than 75 years,” he said.

“This funding will allow us to champion the region’s tourism experiences and local businesses – our ‘homegrown heroes’ – to grow visitation to Mount Gambier. “We are designing a series of tours including highlights of the Limestone Coast and a tour for

food lovers that will take visitors directly to the doorstep of local food and wine businesses.

“Visitors will discover a range of produce including ice-cream made from camels’ milk in Mount Benson.”

“Kalangadoo organic apples, beers from the Robe Town Brewery and wines from the Coonawarra region, to name a few,” Mr Kemp said. “The accommodation upgrades and tours will go hand-in-hand, encouraging more visitors to Mount Gambier to enjoy the world-class experiences and produce the Limestone Coast has to offer.”

A second accommodation provider, Mount Gambier Apartments, will receive $158,181 towards the $527,272 cost of construction of two new luxury wheelchair accessible apartments in Mount Gambier as part of the grants program.

Premier Steven Marshall, in announcing the grants, said the program was giving regional economies a real boost, creating nearly 700 jobs to date. “One of the key aims of the TIDF is to create new jobs and develop skills and with project applications flooding into the SATC, this number will continue to rise,” he said.

“We know from the latest Tourism Research Australia data that January 2021 has been the best month since the pandemic began. “Visits, nights and expenditure were the highest for a month since March 2020.

“These results are on the back of a strong intrastate market and recovering interstate market so it’s great that we have got a pipeline of new and exciting experiences to keep visitors coming back to our regions.

“All of our 42 TIDF projects will give visitors a multitude of reasons to travel to South Australia and our regions to boost our economy.”

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