Major resort upgrade sees spike in local tourism

A major upgrade to River Resort Villas has boosted conference and leisure tourism bookings by approximately 60%, and has captured more holiday makers looking to escape the daily grind.   

Renovations to the South Yunderup resort include a brand new conference facility for 70 delegates fitted with new AV, a refreshed exterior, renovated club house, and a 26 square metre elevated timber deck overlooking the Murray River.  

The revamp also includes new kitchens, interiors and private decks to some of the 22 villas surrounding one of two lakes on the property.  

Resort Managing Director Ken Walter said the spike in bookings not just within leisure tourism but also within the MICE sector (meetings, incentives, conferences and special events) comes as companies look to venues outside the city.  

He said he saved $80,000 of the renovations with Bartercard, contributing to the rise in occupancy that previously ranged between 90-95 per cent in peak season, but dropped down to 60% off peak.    

“Like most resorts the main challenges we face are seasonal and ensuring we stay competitive when it comes to quality and value,” he said.

“Offsetting $80,000 worth of renovation expenses with Bartercard has let us invest more money into up-servicing visitors with newer facilities while continuing to focus on quality and return bookings to drive off peak occupancy up.”

The renovations have helped secure special events like the 2014 Hobie Kayak Bream Series National Grand Final held recently which injected thousands into the local economy.

Over 50 of the top kayak anglers from all over Australia took part in the competition where Hobie provided brand new kayaks valued at over $250,000 especially for the event.    

Items sourced on Bartercard included the new kitchens and fit outs, carpets, blinds and furnishing in each villa.  Ken said that in addition to saving thousands of dollars on business expenses with the cashless marketplace, Bartercard has also regularly contributed to extra bookings and new customers through referrals and local advertising, similarly offsetting thousands in expenses.    
Caption: River Resort’s new conference facility has helped lift bookings by approximately 60 per cent.
From left to right: Resident maintenance Kenneth Walter, Managing Director Ken Walter, Administration Manager Lorraine Walter and Duty Manager Martin Barnett.

Source: Murray Mail Tuesday 9th December