Tourism Minister Paul Papalia praises Bunbury's tourism industry

Seeing the sights: Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Bunbury MLA Don Punch visited the Dolphin Discovery Centre on Friday morning. Photo: Thomas Munday.
Seeing the sights: Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Bunbury MLA Don Punch visited the Dolphin Discovery Centre on Friday morning. Photo: Thomas Munday.

Updating the Australind train is just one strategy the State Government is deploying to bring more tourists from Perth to Bunbury.

On Friday, October 4, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, Bunbury MLA Don Punch, and Tourism WA managing director Brodie Carr met with some of Bunbury's hoteliers, restaurant owners, and tour operators.

The group discussed the government and Tourism WA's role in promoting Bunbury as a go-to tourism destination.

Mr Papalia said Bunbury has blossomed into a major attraction for interstate and international visitors.

"The action plan that we launched in March last year is working. We now have the highest numbers of out-of-state visitors in WA's history," he said.

"Over the past 12 months, Bunbury experienced an 18.5 per cent increase in overnight stays.

"We now need to develop an awareness-raising plan to get people to travel from Perth to Bunbury."

Working with Tourism WA, Australia's South West, and local businesses, Mr Punch will lead the development of several initiatives designed to attract more visitors.

"I have been really pleased with the government's efforts to increase visitor numbers across the state," he said.

"The minister has seen Bunbury's tourism potential.

"We are now on a mission to change people's perceptions of Bunbury, and to turn the region into a tourism hot spot."

Mr Papalia and Mr Punch said the Australind train was part of the government's long-term plan to draw more people to Bunbury.

During his trip to the South-West, the minister visited sites in Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, and Busselton.

He also toured the Dolphin Discovery Centre and met with the facility's chief executive officer, David Kerr.

Mr Kerr praised Mr Papalia, Mr Punch, the government, and Tourism WA for their ongoing support of Bunbury and the South-West.

"We need to continue to work closely with the government and Tourism WA," he said.

"We also want to change people's perceptions of Bunbury and to get more people to visit."

Would do you think should be done to help the Greater Bunbury Region? Email editor.bunburymail@fairfaxmedia.com.au to have your say.