Regional visitor centres granted $4.2 million

The Esperance Visitor Centre is one of 33 regional centres to receive a share in $4.2 million.

The funding was part of the government’s Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program which aims to improve operations and make them more financially sustainable.

Shire of Esperance community and economic development manager Trevor Ayers said the funding would assist in forward planning for the visitor centre to meet the needs of ‘now and into the future’.

“This funding will help enable us to do proper forward planning on what a visitors centre needs to look like, feel like, operate like and provide within Esperance for the next 20 years or so,” he said.

“The idea of the funding is to make visitor’s centres more sustainable.

“The view we’ve taken is that the best way to make our visitor centre more sustainable is to clearly understand what it needs to provide the community with in the future.”

Mr Ayers said the visitor centre’s website was already undergoing changes, set to be completed by January next year.

“A lot of the places have used the funding to do internal revamps of layouts or structural changes and things like that but unless we know what that visitor centre needs to be doing into the future, there is no point spending money on the centre itself,” he said.

“You can’t just get a standard model and say ‘well, this is what is happening everywhere else in the state, we therefore just need to meet that’.

“We need to remember that each visitor centre provides different things within the community.”

Mr Ayers said the visitor centre would work toward improving the information available about attractions, providing a better website and looking at ways to better promote attractions.

Projects for the centres include new touch screen technology, website development, IT upgrades and new signage. Over 100 grants have been provided to visitor centres since the launch of the program.

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