Don’t penny pinch on our visitor centre
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.