Forum targets tourism push
The Bunbury Geographe region needs to band together and collaborate in order to move forward in the tourism industry, according to industry heavyweights.
Representatives from Bunbury City Council and the the shires of Dardanup, Capel, Harvey, Collie, Donnybrook-Balingup and Boyup Brook gathered at the Bush and Bull Tavern in Boyanup on Friday for a tourism forum and sundowner organised by the Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership.
“The Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership was formed through a memorandum of understanding signed by the seven local government areas, Australia’s South West and South West Development Commission in December 2016,” BGTP acting tourism marketing and development manager Michelle McCully said.
“The tourism forum is an opportunity to inform councillors and local visitor centres of the outcomes achieved under the collaboration.”
Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE
Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW
After a Q and A session during which Bunbury City Council chief executive Mal Osborne called for one suggestion from each of the four panel members of how the region could progress, collaboration was the word used most.
The panel was comprised of representatives from Tourism WA, Tourism Council WA, Australia’s South West and the South West Development Commission, including Tourism WA partnership manager Kym Francesconi.
“To hear stories how one of your cheese-makers who now has cheese being served in top class restaurants all through Perth and how the Gingerbread House here in Boyanup now supplies to Optus Stadium, that kind of thing is a massive drawcard,” Ms Francesconi said.
Shire of Capel chief executive Ian McCabe not only found the event insightful, but also said it was a boost for the shire and a great showcase for local businesses and producers.
According to Mr McCabe, businesses could not exist in isolation and expect the region to flourish.
“There were a couple of comments made about what local government could do to support visitor related business, so I was interested to talk to some of the business owners and say ‘what are some of the barriers or obstacles to helping your business grow?’ Mr McCabe said.
“I think we could smooth some of those parts by getting our acts together as local governments, having one form that covers six shires for example.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails