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Project to support Scenic Rim farmers launched


Zuleika Henderson
14 October 2009
Southern Cross University has been awarded $100,000 in funding from Tourism Queensland and the Scenic Rim Regional Council to undertake a project to help grow the Scenic Rim’s developing agri-tourism sector.

The project, which was launched yesterday by Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor in Beaudesert in the heart of the Scenic Rim, aims to support local farmers in value-adding enterprises such as nature-based tourism related activities, on-farm experiences for leisure or education or manufacturing and sales at the farm door.

Rose Wright, manager of research extension and industry development for the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University, said the two-year long project would reinforce the appeal of the region as a tourism destination.

“The project is about forging links between the agricultural and tourism sectors to show local businesses how they can value-add to what they are already producing in a way that links them with local consumers, visitors and commercial users and promotes their produce in a totally new market,” said Mrs Wright.

“The products being developed by the project will add diversity to local tourism products and potentially encourage longer stays in the region.”

A series of field days to be held soon in the region will provide participants with information about tourism and a preliminary assessment to help identify whether individual properties or their produce have the attributes for a successful tourism venture.

Invitations for the field days will be sent out to rural land holders in early November.

“The field days will give interested parties an insight into food, agri and nature-based tourism to help them decide if they have the potential to diversify,” said Mrs Wright.

“Community members with an interest should apply for the project stakeholder reference group, whether they be local farmers, chefs, tourism operators or anyone interested supporting the development of the Scenic Rim as a food and agri-tourism destination.”

Scenic Rim-based individuals and organisations interested in joining the project group should contact Robyn Rae on 07 5506 9327 or email [email protected] by COB Monday, November 1, 2009.

Photo: Rose Wright (high resolution image available on request)