Don’t penny pinch on our vis­i­tor cen­tre

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph Opinion - Anna Gunn, Se­cret Har­bour

It was with some con­cern that I read your story on the front page (Tourist hub clo­sure on cards, 20/9).

My hus­band and I have trav­elled around Australia quite ex­ten­sively and the very first thing we do when we first ar­rive in a new town, is visit the vis­i­tor cen­tre where we pick up a town map and a map of the area and talk to the staff about what the town has to of­fer to tourists.

Although we are com­puter lit­er­ate and use the in­ter­net when we need to — we don’t spend our time at­tached to our iPhones and i-Pads like younger peo­ple do, and like the face-to-face in­ter­ac­tion we get at a vis­i­tor cen­tre and other places of busi­ness.

We also know there are many older peo­ple who are of the same mind­set and, as se­nior tourists make up a large per­cent­age of tourists in gen­eral, be­cause we have the time and money to travel more, I think it would be worth­while re­mem­ber­ing our needs.

We are mem­bers of a lo­cal Probus club (ac­tive se­niors club) and our club reg­u­larly goes on a camp once or twice a year. We usu­ally have 40-60 peo­ple at­tend­ing these out­ings, and at the end of the five-day camp ev­ery­body is asked to tally up what they have spent on ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and drink, petrol, sou­venirs.

This usu­ally adds up to be­tween $15,000 – $20,000 and we ad­vise the lo­cal coun­cil about these fig­ures for their in­for­ma­tion. This just shows that the fi­nan­cial rev­enue de­rived from se­nior trav­ellers is quite con­sid­er­able .

I find it hard to be­lieve that the City of Rock­ing­ham is con­cerned that the vis­i­tor cen­tre lost $9000 last year.

This fig­ure is a very small amount when it is com­pared to the City’s an­nual bud­get and com­pared to the ben­e­fit the cen­tre must give tourists who then go and spend a lot of money at lo­cal busi­nesses and places of in­ter­est.

Surely a vis­i­tor cen­tre is there as a ser­vice to the com­mu­nity and not to make money for the City/Shire.

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