Plan builds tourism appeal

Gareth McKnightSouthern Telegraph
Rockingham’s tourism operators have come up with a new plan to boost the marketing of the city.
Camera IconRockingham’s tourism operators have come up with a new plan to boost the marketing of the city.

A new marketing plan has been formulated to give Rockingham’s tourism sector a boost, with a specialist group presenting the in-depth document to the City of Rockingham late last month, the Telegraph can reveal.

A Tourism Rockingham committee made up of business owners and travel-based operators has worked to devise the 20-point strategy, with the goal to increase visitors to the region. Major components include a more cohesive and collaborative marketing strategy, the potential employment of staff dedicated to promoting the city, and a stronger use of social media.

Other suggestions by the group include more visible advertising signage on the Kwinana Freeway at both ends of the City’s jurisdiction, an endorsement from a celebrity, and a unique landmark that would identify Rockingham.

The total cost of the marketing plan is about $450,000, with the document now sitting in the hands of the City of Rockingham.

Tourism Rockingham president Stacey Graham said a collaborative approach between various stakeholders could boost local tourism.

“We are a not-for-profit organisation so we rely on our memberships, sponsorships and support from the City,” she said.

“It is really trying to bring stakeholders together, rather than everyone going off and doing their own separate promotion.

“The groups have always had good collaboration but it has been on individual ideas rather than one big marketing strategy for everybody.”

Ms Graham said with additional infrastructure, accommodation and facilities, Rockingham could compare to popular east coast tourism destinations, but on a smaller scale.

Rockingham Visitor Centre manager Scott Hewitt said the plan could help boost the local economy.

“Rockingham has a lot going on at the moment — there have been a number of big events in town and the City are looking to spend a fair bit of money on the foreshore redevelopment,” he said. “We feel there is more that can be done. I think it is important to get our share of the tourism market; we don’t want people to just drive past or jump on the train and bypass us.

“We have got to do a bit of work to show off what we have got.

“We can’t expect tourists to come if they don’t know we are here.”

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the plan aligned with the City’s strategic direction and the next step would be to explore how best to deliver some of the initiatives.

“The strategy is a very positive step for the future of tourism in Rockingham,” he said.

“The City is currently discussing alternative business models for the delivery of marketing and visitor information services with major stakeholders, including Tourism Rockingham and the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce.

“It is hoped that a new business model focusing on the development of business tourism and conference and convention attraction will be developed over the next year which, in turn, should add significant value to the region’s leisure tourism effort.”

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