BAH tourism talk

BUSINESS After Hours in Denmark this month brought together nearly 100 small business owners and representatives at the Denmark Visitor Centre, with the Amazing South Coast (ASC) hosting the event.

Jo Taylor with Dennis Wellington

There was keen interest from local businesses that heard about the future of the destination marketing body and the plans the ASC has for increasing visitation to Denmark and the region.

Aaron and Megan Franich

While acknowledging the players and issues from the past, Denmark Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz Jack reinforced that discussions were taking place between the Chamber and the ASC regarding collaboration for the benefit of the business members and the broader community.

Artha Holmes, Andi Adams and Anala Linckens

ASC Executive Officer Peter Grigg, who has been in the role for five months, encouraged local operators to get in touch to share their stories and build upon the individual passion that can deliver a memorable experience to visitors. He highlighted the importance of protecting the south coast’s unique environment and increasing its presence as a sustainable tourism destination. Mr Grigg also gave examples from around Australia where increased visitor numbers did not necessarily result in an economic return to the local community. He said that while visitor numbers to the region still needed to increase, it was imperative that investment was found to increase the length of stay and expenditure.

Bill Parker, Simon Lyas, Pieter Berkelaar, David Stockdale and Beverley Ford

There were many questions regarding the work of the Amazing South Coast, and obvious concern regarding the downturn in visitor numbers, particularly to accommodation, highlighting that while more people may be travelling to the region, they may not be staying longer or spending more.

Two new Denmark Chamber members were introduced at the event.

Artist Carol O’Connor recently moved her studio to 251 Mount Shadforth Road and said she welcomed visitors to view her intuitive artwork.

Dirty Feet Tours owner Rosie Smith offers authentic trail running and hiking tours and can cater to all levels of ability.

The next Business After Hours event for Denmark Chamber of Commerce members will be held on August 8 at the Shire of Denmark.

Care to comment?