REGIONAL TOURISM – Giving tourists a reason to visit your town or region
We recently attended the WA Tourism Council’s 2017 Tourism Conference. It was held in Albany – this was the first time it was held in a regional area. And the turnout was higher than expected, with delegates getting a taste of the Albany’s unique attractions, tourism offering and lots of yummy local produce.
We found a talk by Damian Rossi of the Urban List into research into how millennials make travel decisions and purchases particularly interesting. Lots of food for thought about the changing nature of marketing and promoting tourism products/destinations. We learned a lot about regional tourism and how some operators and destinations are thinking in creative and interesting ways to revitalise their area and attract more visitors.
How Collie WA is reinventing itself
So, we were really intrigued to read an article in The West Australian (16-17 September 2017 by Kim Macdonald) about the town of Collie creating a unique and clever event as a way of attracting new visitors and identifying the town as an interesting place to visit. It is much more than a dirty, unsophisticated coal town that is dying.
In Collie, some enterprising locals at the Collie Art Gallery have devised a plan to put Collie on the map by offering “Australia’s most lucrative regional art prize.” The prize money was donated by Collie’s Bendigo Bank. And spending by visitors as a result of the art exhibition and prize is expected to be put at least $300,000 into the Collie local economy. Aside from the winner being announced in March, the prize will form of a collection of national significance, which is expected to draw visitors to the town for years to come.
Aside from this art collection, Collie has a lot to offer that could put it on the map as a visitor destination – especially for day-trippers from Perth. It has lakes and forests for activities like fishing, water skiing and hiking on offer. The town centre has been transformed, there’s a velodrome, a Motorplex, mountain bike trails and a five-star rated winery.
So, here’s to the efforts and commitment of dedicated locals who are able to think laterally and creatively about how to create a place that brings visitors and economic development into their community. Good luck Collie!
By Tangelo Creative on October 6, 2017