State Member for Dubbo Mr Troy Grant today officially opened Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s new self-contained accommodation, the Savannah Cabins.
Over $4million has been invested in the new product, including two separate grants of $250,000 each from the Australian Government under the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF) programme and the NSW Government Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) administered by its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The Savannah Cabins precinct comprises of 14 premium two bedroom self-contained cabins, all with two bathrooms, and one cabin which has been specially-designed for access by visitors with a disability.
Each cabin can sleep up to six people and features a fully-contained kitchen, lounge area, private deck with barbecue, set on natural grasslands adjacent to Zoofari Lodge, with an outlook towards the African Savannah.
Member for Dubbo, Mr Troy Grant said, the NSW Government funding has helped to create a new experience at Taronga Western Plains Zoo that will attract visitors to the Central West.
“The new Savannah Cabins will not only boost the region’s overnight capacity but will also provide guests with the freedom to stay and explore the Zoo or see what Dubbo and the surrounding area has to offer,” said Mr Grant.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said that the Australian Government’s investment through the TIRF programme had helped to ensure that Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a world class facility.
“Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a truly unique tourism destination and the Savannah Cabins will allow visitors to immerse themselves in their zoo experience, The additional visitors to the Dubbo region will be very welcome,” said Mr Coulton.
“Over the past two years we have made some big changes to the overnight experiences at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, including the creation of Billabong Camp in April 2013, the redevelopment of Zoofari Lodge in March 2014 and now the Savannah Cabins,” said Taronga Director, Mr Cameron Kerr.
“The Savannah Cabins complements our existing overnight accommodation experiences and completes the suite of overnight accommodation offerings at the Zoo, allowing visitors to extend their overnight stay at the Zoo to additional nights, helping to achieve the NSW tourism objective to double overnight visitor expenditure by 2020.”
“We are thrilled that Taronga Western Plains Zoo overnight visitor expenditure has increased by 17% during the 2013 / 2014 financial year, which demonstrates the popularity of an more immersive and unique experience.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo will also be holding an open for inspection day of the accommodation for the community to come and see Zoofari lodge and Savannah Cabins on Saturday 25 October2014 from 11am – 1pm.