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Visitor centre funding to drive regional tourism

  • Written by Helen Morton

Perth Friday, 29 May 2015

    ​$4.2 million investment over three years; $1.1 million in 2015-16
    More than 100 regional visitor centres eligible to apply

Regional visitor centres will share in $4.2 million in State Government funding to help them adapt their businesses to the changing tourism landscape.

Acting Tourism Minister Helen Morton said visitor centres made a vital contribution to the tourism industry but many struggled financially because people had changed the way they accessed booking agents and information.

“Visitor centres offer tried and true local knowledge, and those who use them tend to stay longer and spend more money in a region, but the pattern of visitor traffic and interaction is changing,” Mrs Morton said.

“Many regional visitor centres have found their traditional sources of revenue are drying up as more people book accommodation and tours online, so there’s a recognition that their business needs to adapt to remain viable.”

Mrs Morton said that under the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program, supported by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions, the State Government was investing in projects to help make the centres more sustainable.

“The projects could include developing a cafe to provide another stream of revenue, creating smart phone apps or digital kiosks, opening seasonal pop-up centres to help reduce operating costs or new signage to increase foot traffic,” she said.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment was all part of strengthening Western Australia’s regional tourism.

“This investment will help regional visitor centres modify their business model to be more sustainable in the current market and, in turn, create employment prospects for local residents,” Mr Redman said.

“Once you can do that, you also provide social and economic opportunities for people to live and work in the regions.

“Tourism development is important for regional WA and I look forward to seeing successful visitor centres showcasing the best of our regions.”

Fact File

Applications close 5pm, August 31, 2015
Accredited visitor centres or local government authorities can apply for grants between $10,000 and $100,000; non-accredited centres working towards accreditation can apply for grants between $10,000 and $40,000
For more information, visit http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au   
For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit http://biggerpicture.regions.wa.gov.au

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