Op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

A study into the most promis­ing tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties in the City of Kar­ratha has come back with five main ven­tures for the coun­cil to pur­sue.

The Kar­ratha Tourism Ven­tures Fea­si­bil­ity Study iden­ti­fied eco-tourism on Dampier’s is­lands, water­sports, in­dige­nous cul­tural tourism, a spe­cialised events unit and a “min­ing hall of fame” as the spe­cific projects with most in­vest­ment po­ten­tial for the City.

They were cho­sen from an orig­i­nal 52 op­tions, based on cri­te­ria in­clud­ing mar­ket ap­peal and cost.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the rec­om­men­da­tions would help fo­cus their fu­ture tourism ef­forts.

“We know we have a stun­ning nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and a num­ber of unique lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ences that can form the ba­sis of a thriv­ing lo­cal tourism in­dus­try,” he said.

“Now it’s up to our lo­cal tourism oper­a­tors and bud­ding en­trepreneurs to look at th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties and see if they can make them com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful.”

For­mer Dampier tour op­er­a­tor Lou Ri­naldi, who has twice tried to es­tab­lish tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion on the ar­chi­pel­ago is­lands, said there is “plenty of in­ter­est” in is­land eco­tourism but strict en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions are a ma­jor ob­sta­cle.

“The mar­ket for it is huge,” he said. “There’s a mil­lion things you can do, but first you have to have the ground.

“DPaW have a choke­hold on the is­lands at the mo­ment.”

Ngur­rangga Tours op­er­a­tor Clin­ton Walker, who is the Pil­bara’s only Abo­rig­i­nal tour op­er­a­tor, said there was also a strong mar­ket for cul­tural tourism in the City of Kar­ratha.

“In the peak sea­son, it is full-on,” he said.

“We get a lot of in­ter­est from peo­ple trav­el­ling through and want­ing to do tours.”

He said the mar­ket’s sea­sonal na­ture could dis­cour­age po­ten­tial oper­a­tors.

The study rec­om­men­da­tions will now go to the City’s Tourism Ad­vi­sory Group for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ngur­rangga Tours founder Clin­ton Walker above Kar­ratha.

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