Passengers confused by Busselton visit

Kim Kirkman, BUSSELTON DUNSBOROUGH TIMESBusselton Dunsborough Times
Passengers confused by Busselton visit
Camera IconPassengers confused by Busselton visit Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times

Confusion among passengers from Busselton’s first cruise ship about where they were going speaks volumes about how the region markets itself, the region’s tourism boss says.

City of Busselton Mayor Ian Stubbs said guests disembarking from the Diamond Princess cruise ship on its maiden visit to Busselton last Thursday were reportedly confused about where they were going as the liner had advertised the area as the Margaret River region.

“I don’t worry about that one little bit because they’re pulling in to Busselton and they’re visiting Busselton,” he said.

“It was an outstanding result.”

But Geographe Bay Tourism Association chief executive officer Sharna Kearney said the passenger confusion “speaks volumes about the way we’re marketing ourselves”.

“We need identification in consumers’ minds about what the Margaret River region is,” she said.

“We have a big brand education process ahead of us to ensure Dunsborough and Yallingup are celebrated individually within the Margaret River Wine Region.”

Ms Kearney said around 2000 passengers disembarked from the cruise ship and about 800 booked on to pre-planned tours and shore excursions and the anticipated $300,000 injection into the local economy was likely to have been realised.

She said wine tours, cave and lighthouse tours, short walks and visits to the underwater observatory were popular, while the Busselton scenic tour, taking in Dunsborough and surrounding areas of Busselton, was the most popular.

Ms Kearney said only minor tweaks were likely ahead of the next cruise liner visit and feedback from both tourism operators and the cruise liner had been overwhelmingly positive.

About 450 passengers travelled to Dunsborough and the Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce and Industry requested the City of Busselton fund a shuttle bus service there in the future.

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