Increased tourism focus on Main Street, McLaren Vale
A new plan to encourage visitors to stop, stay and spend in McLaren Vale has been approved by council this month.
The five-year McLaren Vale Main Street Tourism Vision Action Plan has been developed in partnership with the McLaren Vale Business and Tourism Association. The action plan has been guided by engagement with local residents and businesses as well as visitors to the region.
Using Your Say, the three stages of engagement included:
- Stage 1: Understanding what we have – achieved via a visitor engagement survey and a street mapping audit
- Stage 2: Informing the vision – achieved by surveys and workshops
- Stage 3: Draft vision – achieved via a quick poll using the draft vision and artist impressions
Throughout the engagement stages, there were some great ideas to improve Main Road McLaren Vale, to create a more enjoyable place to wander, shop, eat and experience.
Engagement outcomes revealed a strong alignment between what both the local community and visitors to the region are seeking.
Key focus areas of the action plan include gateway and entry, public art, greening and sustainability, streetscape and public realm along with night-time economy.
The initial focus of the project delivery will be on the existing tourism hub which includes the McLaren Vale Hotel, Robern Menz, Oscars Restaurant, Hardy’s Tintara Winery, Fleurieu Art House and the Almond Train/Carriage Café.
To bring the vision to fruition it will rely on the support of government, associations and community groups, business owners and residents all working together to deliver a great experience for Main Road McLaren Vale.
City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson was enthusiastic about Council’s approval of the action plan and acknowledged the work of Councillor Wayne Olsen in progressing the important initiative.
“The McLaren Vale Main Street Tourism Vision Action Plan will encourage visitors to stop, stay longer and spend more, bringing new money into our local economy,” she said.
“The plan supports ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, particularly those relying heavily on tourism, who have been the hardest hit sector during COVID-19.
“The McLaren Vale Business and Tourism Association has been advocating for the plan for many years and have been working with local businesses and the council throughout the plan’s development.
“Together we can increase the vibrancy and appeal of the main street to improve the lifestyle and amenities for the community and allow visitors to enjoy more of what’s on offer in our vibrant and diverse region.”
Council’s adoption of the plan comes just weeks after McLaren Vale was named South Australia’s best tourism destination in Wotif’s annual Aussie Town of the Year Awards.
Main Street at night
An artist impression of McLaren Vale's vibrant and thriving night-time economy.