Welcome to 2020.
I hope you had an enjoyable time over the Christmas/New Year period and managed to get out and about to enjoy some of the wonderful activities and attractions Mandurah is famous for in the summer.
We had a big finish to 2019 at Visit Mandurah and I'm very excited to see what 2020 will bring.
This year I'm especially looking forward to two new projects which have been made possible by a $139,000 state government Regional Economic Development (RED) Grant.
A digital tourism hub will be created in the Mandurah tourism precinct in and around the visitor centre, foreshore and boardwalk.
Interactive touchscreen visitor centre kiosks will be installed to help visitors discover more about our city.
This project complements the redevelopment of visitmandurah.com which will also offer a better, easier to follow, more inspirational visitor experience.
The grant will also be used to develop a Mandurah walking tour and Visit Mandurah ambassador program, both of which will tell the stories of the people, places and produce across the region.
These projects follow the revamp of the visitor centre to make it a more welcoming space that better meets the needs and expectations of all our visitors, whether they be from around the corner or across the globe.
We also have an artist in residence at the visitor centre with Mandurah's own Emma Blyth moving in a few weeks ago.
Emma's iconic and instantly recognisable images of our region are very popular with visitors and it will be great to have her working right alongside us.
I'd also like to welcome Justin Wiebrecht and the team at brewvino, a new bar that has opened above Han's Café at Mandjar Square.
This is a great addition to the cultural end of our tourism precinct and I wish Justin and the brewvino team every success.
Last month we launched our new brand; Mandurah, relaxed by nature.
This coincided with the launch of our summer marketing campaign which is still running across multiple websites, on billboards on Forrest Highway, on radio, at Perth train station, and on bus backs.
I want to thank each and every person who helped contribute to the success of the tourism industry in Mandurah in 2019, whether through a tourism or hospitality business, working or volunteering in a support role, telling family and friends (or strangers on social media) how great our city is, or by simply being friendly to a visitor.
Here's to an even more successful and prosperous 2020.
Pat Strahan is chairwoman of MAPTO.