TOURISM opportunities topped the agenda of a breakfast meeting at The Vault restaurant in Kalamunda this week.
The Kalamunda Chamber of Commerce and MLA Matthew Hughes invited Tourism minister Paul Papalia to the breakfast attended by about 70 local businesses representatives on Wednesday.
Mr Papalia used the occasion to encourage small business owners to optimize on the Tourism WA two-year action plan to grow visitor numbers to WA.
The action plan focuses on four key areas including attracting more people, more often, to regional WA and areas such as the hills region.
“I urged them to work with the regional tourism office to make sure what they come up with marries with what Tourism WA is doing on behalf of the state,” he said.
“The hills has magnificent natural attractions in the form of natural parks, the Bibbulmun Track and Mundi Bindi trails, the falls and premier food and wine,” Mr Papalia said.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tabetha Beggs said she spoke with the minister about the need for local government and small business to work together to approach tourism across the entire region, including Kalamunda and Mundaring.
“We need to identify what areas the region can slip into the action plan and where we can get the most benefit,” she said.
“To do this we will keep in contact with Matthew Hughes, who is our connection to State Government and work with the cities to map out a vision for our area.
“People want instant gratification but there has to be a strategic approach and we need to ensure we’re working with the bigger picture otherwise we’re swimming against the tide.”
Questions to the minister included relaxing parking, toilet and liquor licensing regulations, tightening regulations on Uber and AirBnb, a desire for more caravan parks in the region and an upgrade of Fremantle Port to entice cruise ship visitors.
Mr Hughes said there was a need for a comprehensive tourism plan.
“Kalamunda is only thirty minutes from Perth CBD yet boasts rolling hills, boutique wines, alternative grape varieties and environmentally sustainable methods of operation,” he said.
“It’s a region worthy of further promotion and celebration.”
By Claire Ottaviano