Call to roll out the welcome mat

Andrew Toulalan works in tourism and wants to know why the City of Joondalup doesn't have a tourism information booth
Andrew Toulalan works in tourism and wants to know why the City of Joondalup doesn't have a tourism information booth

Andrew Toulalan, who owns the WA Holiday Guide website, said places like Perth, Fremantle and the Swan Valley had tourism centres.

‘Every major council has a dedicated visitor centre,’ he said.

‘One of the only local councils that doesn’t have a dedicated visitor centre is Joondalup.

‘People get off the train at Joondalup train station (but) they have nowhere to go, there’s no visitor centre.’

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the City investigated the possibility of setting up a visitor centre when it developed its Tourism Development Plan 2005-09, but instead chose to work with key tourism agencies such as Experience Perth and the Perth Visitor Centre.

‘The Experience Perth Holiday Guide is the primary publication for Experience Perth, with 120,000 copies produced annually,’ Mr Pickard said.

‘It is distributed at all the trade and consumer events attended by Experience Perth nationally and internationally, as well as extensive global distribution to both trade and consumers.

‘The focus has been on promoting the northern corridor as a whole rather than just the Joondalup city centre, which is why Joondalup partnered with the cities of Wanneroo and Stirling to produce the Sunset Coast Planner brochure.’

Mr Pickard said they distributed 60,000 copies of that brochure across WA and it was available on the Experience Perth website.

‘Editorial includes a consolidated calendar of events and map covering all three local government areas,’ he said.

‘Each local government is also given supplies of the booklet to distribute locally in all customer service outlets.

‘These distribution methods are designed to obtain maximum exposure to the West Australian tourist and travel market.’

Mr Pickard said the City focused on promoting Joondalup as a ‘destination city’ through initiatives such as free wifi in the city centre, social media, a 48-page Explore Joondalup booklet and heavy promotion of the Joondalup Festival, which draws about 50,000 people.

However, Mr Toulalan said the blue square with a yellow ‘i’ identified visitors’ information centres for people when they arrived in a tourism precinct and he believed there should be one at the junction of Grand Boulevard and Boas Avenue.

‘They are in city centres because that is where people go,’ he said.

‘A visitor centre is as much a piece of community infrastructure as a public library.

‘They provide valuable visitor servicing information for their local area and have their own dedicated websites which act like a regional guide to their district and become a central booking point for all of the local accommodation, car hire and tours even when the office is closed.

‘If the City of Joondalup does not establish a visitor centre in the heart of Joondalup, they are failing the local tourism industry and are selling the City short.’