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Funding boost for regional visitor centres

For more information, contact Terry Redman (Member for Warren-Blackwood).

  • Second round of Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program open
  • $4.2 million investment over three years including $1.05 million in 2016-17

Regional visitor centres are invited to apply for State Government funding towards initiatives that will help them stay viable and adaptable in the changing tourism landscape.

Centres can apply to share in more than $1 million in the latest round of the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program made possible by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions.

Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the program, worth $4.2 million over three years, recognised the vital role of visitor centres in boosting regional tourism and employment.

“Tourism is a $4 billion industry for regional Western Australia. Research shows that people spend more time and money in an area when they use a visitor centre,” Mr Barnett said.

“As more travellers go online for information and bookings, visitor centres are looking to adapt their traditional business models to stay relevant and viable.”

The first funding round, in 2015-16, supported 39 visitor centres from places as diverse as Carnarvon, Chittering, Esperance, Roebourne and Nannup. Projects included website development, improved signage, accreditation and a mobile visitor centre in Geraldton.

“A range of innovative projects have already enhanced the services on offer at visitor centres throughout the State,” the Premier said. “I now urge regional visitor centres to apply for the second round of funding to kick-start or progress their initiatives.”

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment would help strengthen regional tourism, employment and skills development.

“Visitor centres have a wealth of local knowledge that enhance the tourism experience and help visitors discover the best of what the regions have to offer,” Mr Redman said.

“Improving visitor experiences is key to creating opportunities and jobs for local communities and contributing to stronger regional economies in this way is an important Royalties for Regions investment.”

 

Fact File

  • Accredited visitor centres or local government authorities can apply for grants between $40k and $100k, non-accredited centres for grants between $5k and $40k
  • Applications close 5pm, Friday June 17, 2016. For more information, visit Tourism WA

Media contact: Premier Barnett’s office: Keryn McKinnon - 08 6552 5200 or 0429 361 781

Minister Redman’s office: Jayne Rickard – 08 6552 6700 or 0408 145 366

 

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BACKGROUND NOTES

  • Round 2 total funding is $1.3 million, of which $1.05 million is available for the visitor centres
  • Economic and behaviour impacts (para 3&4) – Source: TCWA and Tourism WA Value of Visitor Centres report
  • All 39 recipients of Round 1 funding are listed online. These visitor centres can apply again for funding in Round 2
  • Based on Round 1 feedback, Round 2 has a lower minimum amount ($5,000) and easier application process
  • ‘Accreditation’ refers to TCWA visitor centre accreditation
  • Tourism WA webpage will be updated with Round 2 details prior to media statement launch
  • Other examples of eligible projects:
    • Co-location and/or re-location (this may involve building a café or attraction) to reduce costs and/or increase revenue.
    • Developing a pop-up visitor centre to reduce overall costs.
    • Accreditation support.
    • Setting up incorporated bodies.
    • Cabling and telephone lines.
    • Disability access improvements.
    • Internal and/or external signage.
    • Image and appearance (internal or external).
    • Brochure racks.
    • Technology solutions (including apps or kiosks).
    • Telephones.
    • Point-of-sale equipment.
    • Upgrading and/or installing security measures.