WA: boring bogans
Margaret River tourism veteran Sean Blocksidge says some specialist operators are failing because Perth tourists only want to visit wineries and restaurants.
Despite a recent Tripadvisor award placing his Margaret River Discovery Company in the top 10 travellers’ choice best experiences in all of Australia, bookings have flatlined in recent weeks under the influence of WA’s hard border.
“There’s very limited sense of adventure,” Mr Blocksidge said.
“I’m starting to wonder, are we just a State of boring bogans unprepared to try new experiences in our own backyard?” The Tripadvisor gong put his tours on a list which included climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and tours of the Great Barrier Reef.
“The accommodation providers are booked out, so we know there’s people in town,” Mr Blocksidge said.
“But the visitors are doing the same itinerary they’ve been doing for the past 20 years — and that doesn’t involve an adventure tour or any experience that involves learning something new or exciting about the area they are visiting.”
He believed the “disturbing trend” could lead to casualties in the sector.
Margaret River Adventure Company principal Cam O’Beirne said his experience so far was varied.
July was busy, but August and September were usually slower months.
“We are looking forward to having some new micro-adventures for people to experience here in Margaret River during summer, with new tours planned focusing on people from Perth and barefoot luxury,” he said.
“The State Government are doing a fine job ... given it’s a pandemic and there are more important things to focus on than people having a holiday.
“It would be great if the local tourism association could do more to promote all their members.”
Another tour operator, who asked not to be named, confirmed his business had no forward bookings.
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