Summer along the Yarra River

Summer along the Yarra River
Jeremy Vincent

What a changing world we live in, and it is fundamental that today’s business keeps up with those changes.

We have had first-hand experience of what economic power is wielded by a contemporary music phenomenon in Taylor Swift; not just to herself, but also to everywhere she performs.

The huge numbers of interstaters and even internationals who devoted between a few days and a week to experience our precinct was an eye-opener, even for our businesses who are used to large business and sporting events.

Another example of a much different kind was the viral effect of the “spilt milk” incident on the river in late January. While not condoning the action in any sense, the 20 million views it received on Tik Tok once again shows the almost instantaneous marketing power of social media. While businesses can spend small fortunes on paid messaging, it is often the weird and crazy that attracts the eyeballs.

It has been a summer season of mixed results for Southbank businesses. The variable weather affected patronage in a major way, although most tourism and hospitality businesses seem to have recorded at least as good or slightly better results than last summer overall. 

If you compare the level of activation on the river with what we had 10 years ago, the change is astounding. Life on the waterway before Afloat, Yarra Botanicals and the self-hire boats was a very subdued affair.

Our river cruise operators still provide an excellent tour offering, complete with quality narrations, but it is clear that younger people appreciate the ability to gather together a group of family or friends, and captain their own vessel for an hour or two.

The Business Association is really looking forward to the autumn months, not just because it is the best time in Melbourne to enjoy the river precinct, but the quality of autumn light makes for some great photography.

We have commissioned an international photographer to do a complete update of our precinct imagery because so much of the skyline has changed in recent years, as well as the new on-water activity that I mentioned above. Also, the flow of amazing images that come to us via social media, particularly Instagram, never ceases to impress.

Follow yarrarivermelbourne on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with the seasonally changing face of the river and its environs.

By the time you read this we will have had our first “President’s Table” luncheon, which is a new concept of more personal business networking that enables our members to get to know in a more meaningful way key people who influence and shape our precinct.

The March lunch with City of Melbourne CEO Alison Leighton will enable us to discuss such pressing issues as the Queensbridge Square red stairs, the lack of movement on the City Road masterplan, the forward planning for Greenline, and a proposal from one of our members to properly light Princes Bridge, as part of the multi-million restoration that is under way.

As always, if you do business in Southbank, on or around the river, we urge you to join the Yarra River Business Association.

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