Zoo gets tourism funding to develop new wildlife experience

Zoo gets tourism funding to develop new wildlife experience

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has received $100,000 towards a new overnight wildlife experience from the NSW Government’s $5 million Regional Tourism Product Development Funding Program.

The new experience will be an Australian bush overnight camping experience that immerses visitors in the bush experience. The new overnight experience at Taronga Western Plains Zoo will offer a new and unique opportunity for families seeking a camping trip with a difference.

The overnight experience will consist of 20 tents located nearby a billabong in the Zoo’s Australian Wildlife section and will hold up to 80 people each night. Guests will have close encounters with native Australian wildlife and have hands on experiences with animals such as reptiles.  The experience will focus on school groups during the week and visiting families on weekends.

“The announcement of the funding for the Zoo and also Cockatoo Institute is great news for the Dubbo region and the newly-formed Inland NSW Regional Tourism Office which is sure to boost the local tourism industry,” said General Manager, Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Inland NSW Tourism board member, Matthew Fuller.

“This funding to build the new overnight wildlife experience at the Zoo will hopefully enable us to open it later this year,” said Matt.

“It is an exciting time for the Zoo with this new overnight experience just one of a number of other projects in the pipeline for the near future,” said Matt.

The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said that the contribution that tourism and tourism related activities make to the profitability of regional communities is often overlooked.

"Overnight visitor expenditure accounts for $8.7 billion in revenue. This figure is a crucial component to boosting the state's economy."

"The aim of the Regional Tourism Product Development Program is to improve the visitor experience and encourage tourism spending in regional NSW."

 Mr Grant said that an independent panel of industry experts had recommended both Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Cockatoo Institute Ltd (formerly known as Dungog Film Festival Ltd), above other applications as part of a highly competitive selection process.