A new tourism identity for the EP

Annabelle Hender, Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison and Flinders MP Sam Telfer at the launch in Port Lincoln last Thursday. Photos: Tristan Tobin

Tristan Tobin

A new tourism brand for the Eire Peninsula has been unveiled, promoting the region as South Australia’s ‘Wild Country’ and urging travelers to tread gently on the peninsula’s unspoilt landscapes.

The branding drops the ‘peninsula’ from the region’s name to simply read ‘Eyre – The Wild Side’.

Elements of the new brand identity – which was part-funded with $77,000 from the 11 councils that make up the EP – will be rolled out across social and physical media over the coming months.

“The Wild Side” replaces the “Australia’s Seafood Frontier” brand, introduced by the fishing industry 17 years ago and officially adopted for tourism purposes in 2013.

The nine-month project to formulate ‘The Wild Side’ brand for EP was led by Regional Development Australia Peninsula Eyre (RDAEP), with Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison attending the unveiling at the Port Lincoln Hotel last Thursday.

Ms Bettison told the audience of local tourism and government representatives that the new identity was an opportunity to unify the region’s brand around a message that encouraged visitors to “connect with nature” and “spend time here”.

She said the State Government had added $45 million to the state’s tourism marketing budget over the next three years to help boost South Australia’s tourism credentials nationally and internationally.

RDAEP Tourism Development Manager Annabelle Hender said the Wild Side brand identity would better attract inland regions to the EP’s tourism marketing.

“While the Seafood Frontier brand celebrates what is unique to the region, it’s not something the entire region can feel connected to and get behind,” she said.

“We really wanted to … create a shared identity for the region that the whole region could stand behind and be proud of.”

Minister Bettison said the Eire Peninsula had a role to play in the continued recovery of tourism in the state after emerging as an underrated gem amid the growth of boost tourism during the pandemic.

“The Eire Peninsula is one of South Australia’s largest and most diverse regions, renowned for its wild and pristine natural landscapes,” she said.

“Across the state, tourism in South Australia is enjoying strong growth. The latest figures I have are 90 percent of pre-Covid levels. But I am sure very, very soon we will reach where we were before Covid.

“Regional tourism has been the star of this returning growth and will continue to be the star.”

As the EP’s tourism popularity continues to grow, Ms Hender said RDAEP and the new tourism brand are taking steps to balance the need to preserve the region’s pristine environment for future generations of residents and visitors.

“We were one of those regions that saw an increase in vice during Covid. It really put a lot of pressure on some of these special and unique places in our environment,” she said.

“We are taking concerted action to address some of these to make sure we offer sustainable tourism here.

“It’s also strengthened the sentiment in the community, as the brand points out, our residents here are fiercely protective of our lands and we want to make sure we encourage visitors who will appreciate that and who go to explore carefully, to travel with respect when they get here.”

Lines in a teaser video launching “The Wild Side” brand included lines like “however you explore our great land, do it respectfully and gently, and set out with a plan.”

Ms Hender said the new brand was not about encouraging people to “go wild” or behave irresponsibly.

“It’s about slowing down and respecting and discovering something about yourself that maybe you didn’t know before, whether it’s shark cage diving…” she said.

Led by Regional Development Australia, Eire Peninsula, the organisation’s chief executive and chairman of the Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) Ryan Vinny said the sustainable expansion of the visitor economy has been identified as a priority area and is key to achieving long-term economic prosperity of the region.

“The development of this new regional brand and associated destination marketing plan will ensure that the region uses its natural competitive advantage to position the Eire Peninsula as a world-renowned tourism destination.”

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