New body to spruik Pilbara tourism

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Karijini National Park is just one the many elements of the region that the Pilbara Tourism Association will be promoting.
Camera IconKarijini National Park is just one the many elements of the region that the Pilbara Tourism Association will be promoting. Credit: The West Australian

A new tourism body has been established in the Pilbara with the aim of driving visitors to the region.

The Pilbara Tourism Association, which has been driven by the Business Centre Pilbara, the Pilbara Development Commission, and existing tourism businesses, has been meeting monthly for the last year but only became an established not-for-profit body just before Christmas.

Business Centre Pilbara chief executive Paul Jagger said to have the association incorporated gave it more credibility and capability to undertake the kind of things needed to support tourism growth.

“Having a new association that has a key focus, that’s run by tourism businesses to support tourism businesses, makes a lot of sense,” he said.

“Across the region we have some pretty unique and very much untapped tourism places and spaces.

“The Karijini Experience goes from strength to strength each year, but you could argue that area is nowhere near fully utilised.

“The same can be said for the Dampier Archipelago, the Burrup rock art — the list goes on.”

The PTA is different from the likes of Australia’s North West Tourism as it aims to ensure there is a connectedness among tour operators, tourism businesses and visitor centres which are all trying to achieve the same thing.

“The crux of this whole thing is it is to be run by and for the tour operators, not the PDC and not the business centre,” Mr Jagger said.

PTA chairman Barry Harrison said the association had its second official meeting last week. which had buy-in from all four local government areas as well as a range of tourism operators and Aboriginal corporations.

“It’s important to build on the reputation the Pilbara has,” he said.

“We have so much to offer, from indigenous rock art and station stays, to arguably the best national park in Australia. We want to get the message out to the rest of the world that this is a great place to visit.”

The PTA will meet again next month in either Hedland or Newman in the hope of getting all local government areas more involved.

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