OPINION: Competing in an increasingly crowded tourism market

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Visitors and tourists to the Mandurah region can take in the beauty and wonder of the Lake Clifton Thrombolites as part of the Mandjoogoordap Dreaming tour.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Visitors and tourists to the Mandurah region can take in the beauty and wonder of the Lake Clifton Thrombolites as part of the Mandjoogoordap Dreaming tour.

In 2017, Mandurah was named Western Australia’s Top Tourism Town and received the highest number of day trips in the state. 

While this is great news and the region has the potential to attract so many more visitors, we are competing in an increasingly crowded tourism market.

It’s true we have stunning beaches and waterways, wonderful natural assets, a growing list of quality accommodation, tour and hospitality providers, world class shopping and golf courses.

However, if we take our (understandably) proud and parochial goggles off, it’s easy to see that countless other destinations can say the same.

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That’s why Mandurah and the Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) recently commissioned a far-reaching consumer research project to look at just what potential visitors think of Mandurah and the Peel Region. 

It was used to hone in on the unique assets that can be used to promote the area and is the first time in six years such research has been carried out. 

One of the results that really stood out for me was that potential visitors and people who live here really don’t know enough about us.

On the plus side, the research showed that when they do know how diverse the area is, they are much more likely to visit here, or recommend it to family and friends.

That’s why we will be working with key stakeholders on an advocacy program to improve the knowledge of locals and get them talking about how proud they are to live here and to help promote all the amazing things there are to see and do.

Our biggest tourism market continues to be the Perth metropolitan region. The research showed our two biggest assets when attracting these visitors are our proximity to Perth and the diversity of attractions.

We will be using all of this knowledge in upcoming marketing campaigns including a greater focus on information and logistics for visitors such as promoting options for accommodation and attractions, generating more suggested itineraries and boosting the region’s social media presence.

I look forward to sharing more information about these activities as they progress, and working with the local community and businesses in the region to grow our tourism industry.       

  • Karen Priest is chief executive of the Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation.