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Pemberton plans for visitor explosion

Pemberton’s Tourism and Progress Association is working with the South West Development Commission to develop a master plan for a tourism precinct in a bid to attract more tourists.

The precinct will cluster a number of attractions close to Pemberton’s pool.

Pemberton Tourist Bureau president Vic Robinson said, although tourists did visit Pemberton, it was often only as a stop off point between Busselton, Margaret River and Albany.

“Pemberton is benefiting from passing traffic but visitors aren’t stopping long enough,” he said.

“This master plan will give tourism a major focal point in Pemberton and encourage increased visitor nights.”

A number of tourist attractions have been proposed for the area.

They include a Forest Park Skyway, artisans’ centre and a replica hydro-electric power station.

Relocating the Karri Forest Discovery Centre, upgrading the pool and surrounding environment and linking bush walks to other attractions such as the Pemberton trout hatchery are also

possibilities.

It is estimated twenty jobs could be created from the new tourism precinct.

The Commission has allocated $6,000 towards the development of the master plan and a dollar-for-dollar grant has been awarded by the Department of Commerce and Trade.

The WA Government has also provided $2 million to boost tourism and community development in the karri forest area of Manjimup and Nannup.

Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes has asked locals to submit ideas for an icon that would attract nature-based tourism.

“The idea is to create another ‘icon’ such as the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk where people can experience the forest without any detrimental effect to forest values,” Mrs Edwardes said.

She said the competition was part of the government’s commitment to develop new tourism opportunities in the South West under the Regional Forest Agreement.

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