The Shire of Denmark will explore three proposals for tourism marketing after the closure of the visitor centre on July 31. Tourism operators and community members gathered in Denmark last week to discuss the Shire’s role in tourism and the future of the visitor centre. About 50 people attended the community consultation session, which involved a Q&A panel with Shire of Denmark acting chief executive David Schober, Amazing South Coast Tourism representatives Peter Grigg and Susan McCabe, and Denmark Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sumer Addy. The forum featured presentations on visitor servicing in Denmark, the Shire’s role in tourism, the closure of the visitor centre, the future of the Shire-owned building, and potential funding for the DCC and ASCT. ASCT executive officer Peter Grigg said he was heartened by the community’s passion. “It was a great outcome. It was the community being more than willing to put up their interest in keeping the visitor centre open,” he said. “The primary importance of this is to ensure the visitors to Denmark are serviced to a level of satisfaction.” The Shire will consider three proposals regarding the future of the visitor centre, which includes the Shire-supported DCC tourism model. Under the Discover Denmark proposal, the DCC would not run a single visitor centre, instead investing resources and training local businesses to take control of their own booking services and provide assistance to visitors. A group of 20 local businesses submitted an alternative proposal which involved reopening the visitor centre and making it more of an attraction. Bevdon Management owner Beverley Ford, who is spearheading the submission, said it was important for Denmark to have a visitor centre. “Visitors want that human-to-human interaction, particularly when they come to the country, and if they’ve never been to the south coast before they don’t know what they should or shouldn’t be doing to enhance their holiday,” she said. “That’s what experienced locals in the visitor centre can help with. “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. “Our group believes we are ready to move quickly should the Shire support our proposal to open it again in time for the next school holidays.” A third proposal will be presented to the Shire by Green Skills. The ASCT announced in December it would no longer run the visitor centre after June 30 as it moved away from visitor servicing to destination marketing. Mr Grigg said the future of tourism in Denmark was strong. “Coming out of COVID-19, there is a huge interest in this particular part of the world,” he said. “The July school holidays were very strong, and my operators and members are telling me the September-October school holidays is looking extremely strong with lots of bookings. “There are discussions happening that will allow the centre to open through a transitional period that will allow the Shire time to go through and investigate options they have.” The Shire will investigate the submitted proposals on the future of the centre, with a report to be presented to the council.