LATEST visitor statistics shows more than 2.8 million people chose Mandurah and the Peel as a day trip destination in the 12 months to June.
Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation chief executive Karen Priest said it was half a million more day trippers than the year before.
“It is a fantastic result representing a 23 per cent increase,’’ she said.
“While our marketing campaigns and PR activity had an important role to play, I believe the jump in numbers is also down to the ever-increasing range and quality of tourism offered in the region as well as new infrastructure such as Mandurah Forum.”
Local operators say they have certainly noticed an increase in out of town visitors.
Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant’s Jason Hutchen said he had noticed an increase in day trippers lunching at his restaurant.
“Many people catch the train from Perth or come up from Bunbury, particularly on Sundays, ’’ he said.
“We seem to be a popular meeting spot for people living north and south looking for a half-way point to meet.”
Kevin Smith from the Peninsula noticed a pick-up in the lunch time crowd, particularly on weekends and public holidays.
“I think it can be attributed to a mixture of things including some new marketing ventures as well as the relationships we have with other tourism businesses, such as Mandurah Cruises.”
The number of nights domestic (interstate and intrastate) visitors stayed in the Peel also increased, up 20 per cent to 2.4 million.