Push for Abrolhos Island tourism development

Staff reportersGeraldton Guardian
Coronation Island at the Abrolhos.
Camera IconCoronation Island at the Abrolhos. Credit: Eco Abrolhos

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor said the Abrolhos Islands could be the answer to the State’s current tourism slump.

Statistics from the latest International Visitor Survey showed a five per cent decline in spending by tourists in WA last year.

Mayor Shane Van Styn said the Houtman Abrolhos Islands are an untapped resource that could turn these numbers around.

“It is alarming that WA was the only state to have a decline in the $40 billion industry in 2017,” he said.

“We think the Abrolhos Islands has exactly what it takes to bring more tourists to our state to see an increase in the amount our tourists are spending.

“It could be the next biggest exciting destination in Australia, a real game changer!”

A case to turn the Abrolhos Islands into a National Park to create world-class tourism opportunities including accommodation and other facilities has been put to the State Government.

“With best practice management in place of the Islands’ terrestrial and marine environment, we could create a huge tourism opportunity but it will be imperative to preserve the area’s nature, culture and visitor appeal,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“The State Government has announced ten million to fund best practice management and development of the Abrolhos Islands and we would ideally like this funding to be brought forward to the 2018/19 financial year so we can take a hold and enhance this opportunity in the very near future.”

Mayor Van Styn also added that modelling indicated the development of the Abrolhos would create huge economic benefits.

“Resultant growth in tourism is projected to increase business revenues by over $70 million and increase economic benefits over $100 million in the first decade,” he said.

“Not to mention the amount of local jobs it would create.

“We believe the Abrolhos Islands has what it takes to be the turning point for tourism in WA.”

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