Visitor Centre generates millions for local economy

Research has revealed tourists spend more than $100 per trip after receiving information on what there is to see and do from Visitor Centres.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor, Shane Van Styn said the number of people coming through the door at the Geraldton Visitor Centre increased by more than 7,000 people or 15 per cent from last year which generated almost $6 million in total for the local economy.
“Over the past twelve months more than 57,000 people came through the visitor centre doors, and according to the ‘Value of Visitor Centres’ report, the information provided by visitor centres increases visitor spending on average by an additional $104 per trip which equates to an additional $5,928,000 being spent in Geraldton.”
"Increases in visitor numbers at the Geraldton Visitor Centre is attributed to several factors including the new location, an exceptional wildflower season and an increase in cruise ship visits and.
“One year ago today the Visitor Centre moved into the refurbished Original Railway Station located right on the Foreshore and in the heart of our CBD,” he said.
“The Original Railway Station in one of Geraldton’s iconic buildings, a tourist destination in itself, offering travellers and locals an opportunity to have a coffee at the Carriage Café whilst planning what they want to see and do in our fantastic City region.
“For the first time ever, the City was promoted across the state as the hub for wildflower tourism with many visitors stopping at the Centre to see the beautiful wildflower display before heading out to go on their own tour,” said Mayor Van Styn.
“The number of cruise ships stopping over in Geraldton has also increased with 13 ships anchoring in the past year. 
“With almost 20,000 passengers and crew coming ashore, many of whom stopped in at the Visitor Centre, spent on average $60 per person making the financial benefit to our community over $1 million.”

Other highlights during the Centre’s first year in its new location included holding its first art exhibition in conjunction with Yamaji Art, being named a finalist in the GWN 7 Top Tourism Awards and receiving the Professional Development award and the Geraldton Cruise Ship Meet and Greet volunteers won the Community Excellence Award for Not For Profit organisations 2015 at the Thank a Volunteer Day and Volunteers of the Year Awards ceremony on Friday night.