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Barossa Spirit Inspires a New Kind of Visitor Centre
An inspiring new visitor centre has opened in the Barossa Valley, providing a welcoming and informative introduction to the region that embodies the Barossa spirit.
The Barossa Council initiated the redevelopment of its existing centre in Tanunda with funding support from the Australian Government’s International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program, Barossa Grape and Wine Association and Tourism Barossa. The new centre is designed to be a place that inspires people to see and do more; builds curiosity and connections with the region; and services the needs of visitors today and in the future.
The new centre reflects the evolving role of visitor information centres in showcasing the character of a place, delivering information through storytelling and personal interactions, and acting as a bridge between visitors and the local community. It recognises the need for visitor centres to be more financially sustainable and to support the local business community in more innovative and beneficial ways.
Council’s Mayor, Bim Lange, said both the design and function of new centre will elevate the customer experience.
“While the Barossa Visitor Centre is recognised as one of the best in the Australia, we want to keep evolving our offer. Our mission is to inspire our guests to stay longer, participate in more activities and invest more into our local region,” said Mayor Lange.
“The redevelopment has allowed us to create a more engaging and interactive visitor experience.”
Key features of the new centre include a video wall and lounge displaying new regional promotional footage; Barossa Makers Table to showcase pop-up winemakers, producers, artists and craftspeople; Barossa Wine Stories Room with touchscreen and displays; booking pods; ‘Barossa Made’ gift shop; 24/7 mobile device charge up facility; and improved flow and access.
TiCSA Partner Studio S2 Architects, who specialise in the tourism industry, were engaged to provide design services for the project.
Director Amy Smedley says the new spaces have been designed to create a welcoming place where visitors and locals want to spend time exploring and making unexpected discoveries.
“The focus was on representing the authentic Barossa spirit – warm and understated, historic and evolving, unexpected and extraordinary, and to immerse visitors in this throughout every aspect of their experience at the centre,” Amy said.
“The centre is now approachable and readable, it connects with the town square and provides opportunities for out-of-hours use, and is more accessible from the main street footpath.”
Learning and development specialist Kiikstart was also instrumental in the redevelopment.
Kiikstart’s Director Ali Uren says the business offered strategy and support to re-think the visitor centre’s operations and approach to the customer experience.
“Visitor information centres are under pressure to evolve as information is increasingly obtained in digital format, but tourism is and always will be about bringing people to a place,” Ali said.
“To help achieve this, we provided training and support to staff and volunteers to ensure they provide an engaging service, and helped to create platforms and connections for local tourism operators to fully utilise the revitalised facility.
“The new Barossa Visitor Centre leaves visitors feeling more connected, with a desire and curiosity to visit other regional offerings.”
The new centre was constructed by G-Force Building and Consulting.
About the International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program
The International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program is a component of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package. The Competitive Grants – which closed 2 March 2018 – provided a range of stakeholders with an opportunity to apply for funding on a competitive basis, towards initiatives which will grow either the number of and/or spend by international wine tourists in a particular region.
Visit the Barossa Visitor Centre
66-68 Murray Street, Tanunda, 5352