Mt Barker Tourist Bureau keeps visitor centre open and recognise it’s vital role

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Mt Barker Visitor Centre Coordinator Kirsten Beidatsch.
Camera IconMt Barker Visitor Centre Coordinator Kirsten Beidatsch. Credit: Supplied

The newly formed Mt Barker Tourist Bureau has officially taken over the running of Mount Barker Visitor Centre.

The bureau was formed to keep the centre running after Amazing South Coast Tourism decided to stop managing it.

The future of the visitor centre was up in the air until the official take-over by the bureau.

It is a not-for-profit, community-led organisation supported by the Shire of Plantagenet.

Chairwoman Kathryn MacNeil said although there had been a lot of debate about the need for visitor centres in the digital age, she believed they provided vital human connection.

“Some people argue that the provision of information and booking services online negates the need for our centres to remain open, but we beg to differ,” she said.

“Our visitor centre provides an essential link between visitors and our people, businesses, and attractions through our information service and a locally made and sourced retail shop.

“In June 2020, a steering group, led by the Porongurup Promotions Association, fought to reopen the visitor centre as well as to source financial support from the Shire of Plantagenet.

“Following their success, a new board was brought together to rebuild the organisation and create a new strategic direction for tourism in Plantagenet.”

The bureau intends to work with Amazing South Coast Tourism, Great Southern Treasures and other tourism organisations.

“Our vision for tourism as a whole, is to see the Shire of Plantagenet recognised as a great place to escape from the city and reconnect with our beautiful country and its people,” Ms MacNeil said.

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