A new 42 room motel to be built in Port Augusta will encourage more high-yield travellers to the region.
While visiting Port Augusta today Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the State Government had contributed $120,000 to the project under its Tourism Development Support Program.
“This new Ecomotel will be a significant boost for Port Augusta and the wider Flinders Ranges’ tourism industry,” Mr Bignell said.
“The environmentally sustainable, rammed earth motel will go a long way to improving the region’s undersupply of four-star premium accommodation.”
Construction will start next month and stage one of the development, with 22 rooms, will be completed by October this year, with stage two delivering a further eight rooms by June next year.
The motel will be finished in 2018 with a total of 42 new rooms.
The Ecomotel aligns with the State Tourism Plan’s aims of increasing four and five-star accommodation in regional areas and encouraging further investment in the state’s tourism assets and experiences.
The additional 42 rooms will also contribute to the Flinders Ranges Destination Action Plan, which identifies the need for more quality accommodation in the region.
“Not only will the Ecomotel help attract high-yield domestic and international visitors and enhance their stay in the Flinders Ranges, there will be benefits to the local community through job creation and a greater demand for existing retail and service jobs,” Mr Bignell said.
Proprietor of Ecomotel Alan McMahon said the development was vital to the region.
“This exciting new project will provide much needed accommodation for Port Augusta and provide local employment opportunities. The government’s assistance has been instrumental and I look forward to working with them to achieve the best possible result,” Mr McMahon said.
Chair of Flinders Ranges Outback SA Tourism Authority Julie Smith is delighted with the project’s approval.
“Port Augusta is a key asset for tourism in our vast region. It’s developing nicely as a destination in its own right and this project builds on our aspiration to see more environmentally sustainable, quality accommodation.”
Ecomotel Pty Ltd’s forecasts show a more than two million dollar benefit to the local community from the building and flow-on effect from stage one alone.
Environmentally sustainable features of the Ecomotel include grey water recycling, arid smart landscaping, solar panels, rammed earth walls and rainwater collection.
To be located on the Eyre Highway, the motel will receive valuable exposure to the 1.3 million vehicles that pass it annually.