The City of Victor Harbor is consolidating its Visitor Information Centre (VIC) with SA Whale Centre in a bid to channel more resources into online tourism platforms.
From early next year, VIC will move into the Railway Goods Shed, the building currently occupied by the SA Whale Centre.
Each year around 1.2 million visitors come to Victor Harbor, injecting $153 million into the local economy. The VIC and SA Whale Centre each currently service around 5% of these visitors, with the vast majority of tourists using digital platforms for tourism information and local experiences.
Mayor Moira Jenkins said consolidation is also expected to save the council up to $150,000 per year, and will support the recruitment of a digital marketing officer to drive a new destination marketing strategy for the city.
“There is significant research that shows a clear shift in consumer behaviour with visitors increasingly using online and digital technology to inform travel choices, plan trips and source information while at their destination. We want to play a greater role in influencing people to travel to Victor Harbor through this work," Mayor Moira Jenkins said.
“Our volunteers at the VIC and SA Whale Centre will remain an important part of the visitor experience and we will be working closely with them during this transition.”
Council’s lease of the VIC premises provides an exit clause, requiring Council to give two years notice of its intention to terminate the lease. This formal notice has been provided to the landlord.
“The Council understands the importance of activating the foreshore space and we are currently exploring opportunities to sub-lease the site,” said Mayor Jenkins.
“Right now our focus is on preparing for the transition, working with our staff and volunteers to prepare the SA Whale Centre, and notifying tourism businesses and our corporate partners of the changes.”
Visit www.victor.sa.gov.au/visitorservices for more information about the changes to Council’s visitor services.
Photo SA Whale Centre, South Australian History Network, Flickr