Jetty key to luring tourists

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
The Busselton Jetty executive team and board members accept their win.
Camera IconThe Busselton Jetty executive team and board members accept their win.

Busselton Jetty is positioning itself as WA’s premier “big icon” and could be the key to overturning dwindling international visitation figures, according to chief executive Lisa Shreeve.

The comments come after the jetty won the gong as WA’s top Major Tourist Attraction at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards, and latest figures show a dip in international visitors to the State.

Ms Shreeve said the jetty had proved itself a drawcard but she expected its position would only strengthen with the construction of the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre.

With the centre due to be built in the next 10 years and a village planned for the end of the jetty, Ms Shreeve said her aim was “to be the compelling reason that international visitors come to WA”.

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“International tourists are telling us that generic photos of WA beaches, wine, food and sunsets are not enough to get them to ‘swipe right’ and book a trip to WA,” she said.

“WA needs a unique selling proposition to differentiate ourselves from other Australian States and Territories.”

Figures recently released by Tourism Research Australia show WA recorded a 1.8 per cent drop in international visitors and a 9.9 per cent decrease in expenditure, totalling $248 million.

The figures come just weeks after research by Curtin University and Australia’s South West showed Busselton Jetty was one of the biggest drawcards for Asian markets.

Ms Shreeve said the “hub and spoke” model was successful around the world, with tourists drawn to major attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty and then dispersing to other areas.

“The jetty can be and already is a catalyst to enticing more people to WA and many local businesses use it to promote their own business and a reason to visit the region,” she said.

“We have the longest jetty in the world featuring one of only six natural aquariums in the world, 1.8km out to sea and we are now providing the only underwater dining experience in Australia, featuring premium Margaret River wine and food.”

The jetty beat the Fremantle Prison, Crown Perth and a host of other entrants to be named WA’s top major tourist attraction for 2018.

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