THE City of Cockburn has flagged it is likely to play bigger role in attracting tourists to the area.
A recent national visitor survey from the Tourism Council found spending from interstate visitors into WA grew to $4 billion over the previous 12 months.
International numbers were also up, though spending was slightly down. With current attractions, including Native ARC, kitesurfing hotspot Woodman Point and the Cockburn Ice arena attracting many visitors, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said tourism was becoming a more “substantial feature of Cockburn’s economy”.
“As the number and types of tourist attractions grow, the city will enhance its coverage of these,” he said.
“The opening of an Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Bibra Lake in about three years will be the first major cultural tourist facility operated by the city.” A recent Workforce Plan adopted by the council mentions the likelihood of a community and tourism officer being employed by the city in 2020-21. Mr Howlett said no position description had been developed yet, but the role was likely to include marketing and liaising with tour providers and businesses.
He said while promotion of the nation and the state would remain primarily the responsibility of that level of government, the city – along with local business – would need to engage and promote local attractions.
“The city’s amazing coastline, unique wetlands and scenic bushland areas make it a great tourism destination,” he said.
“Working to attract tourists will be a natural progression as areas such as the Cockburn coast are developed further.”
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said local governments had a role to play.
“The best way for local governments to develop tourism is to support local tourist operators and local tourism organisations,” he said.