Denmark council to ponder new plan for visitor centre following proposal from new tourism group

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Denmark Visitor Centre.
Camera IconDenmark Visitor Centre. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Shire of Denmark councillors will consider the development of a tourism strategy at its next council meeting after being presented with a proposal from newly formed not-for-profit group Denmark Tourism Inc.

The proposal comes after the closure of Denmark Visitor Centre at the end of July as part of Amazing South Coast Tourism’s shift towards destination marketing.

Council provided in-principle support to Denmark Chamber of Commerce for its “Touchpoint” visitor servicing model; however, since then, other models for visitor servicing have emerged.

DCC withdrew their model in order to support tourism providers, rather than compete.

Denmark Tourism Inc has come forward with a proposal in collaboration with Green Skills to reopen and manage the visitor centre.

DTI has suggested the visitor centre tower be adapted for an interpretive hydroelectric project and an interpretative exhibit about the East Asian Australasian Flyway demonstrating how migratory shore birds travelled from the Arctic to the Wilson Inlet.

DTI spokesperson Beverley Ford said it was important for Denmark to have a visitor centre.

“These days, a visitor centre can be more than just a place of information, they can be an attraction in its own right, and our visitor centre has the space to create that,” she said.

Denmark Shire president Ceinwen Gearon said the Shire would investigate new ways to offer visitor experiences.

“Councillors and staff have been working incredibly hard to support industry, whilst at the same time being aware of the need to invest public funds carefully to achieve the best outcomes for not only the tourism industry but the community as a whole,” she said.

“We must take a long-term view and understand the significant changes to the way accommodation bookings and industry as a whole has needed to adapt with the new share economy.”

ASCT chair Susan McCabe said they supported the Shire taking a long-term and strategic view of tourism.

“The development of a tourism strategy, where the community and Great Southern can work collaboratively, is a fundamental objective of the ASCT,” she said.

“We are committed to working with DTI, Green Skills and the chamber to find the best outcomes for Denmark in transitioning to a new model of visitor servicing.”

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