Creswick Woollen Mills is set to attract more international tourists with support from the Andrews Labor Government for the development of a range of visitor experiences for Asian visitors.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford announced with Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard a $500,000 grant from the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) at the Creswick Woollen Mills’ soon-to-be upgraded site.
Creswick Woollen Mills is the last coloured woollen spinning mill of its kind in Australia and this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The tourism experience showcases the journey of wool from its source on the alpaca, through the manufacturing process, and how it ends up in product on the shop shelf.
The company will use the grant to enhance the experience for Asian visitors through a designated welcome area for tour groups, an upgraded animal viewing area, more translated material, and a café showcasing local produce.
Visitor feedback indicated people wanted more opportunities to spend time with the alpacas, the option to buy food and coffee, and more ways to interact with the experience for people who spoke languages other than English.
By improving the visitor experience to meet the identified demand, the project will create 12 local jobs and increase the number of visitors to the Mill by 30 per cent within four years.
The project will also benefit the local community as the Mill conducts a range of events including craft fairs for local artists, agricultural association AGMs, and fashion parades.
The Labor Government has identified projects that will have a high impact on regional economies, such as the Creswick Woollen Mills project.
The visitor economy is crucial to the future economic development of regional and rural Victoria, with the sector contributing $11.5 billion to the regional economy and generating 114,400 jobs annually.
The RTIF is investing in growing the visitor economy across regional Victoria by facilitating the development of iconic regional tourism projects that create world-class tourism experiences and boost the regional economy.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Victoria’s wool industry has a long and proud history and it’s something international visitors want to learn about. We are backing the Creswick Woollen Mills project so that more people ‘flock’ to regional Victoria.”
“Through our Regional Tourism and Infrastructure Fund, we’re ensuring that projects that increase the number of visitors to regional Victoria, create jobs and boost local economies, get the support they need.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“International visitors love the unique experiences that they can have across our region.”
“Tourists will be able to interact with the Alpacas, learn about the manufacturing process and buy some of the fantastic products made from the fine yarn from these great animals.”