13/05/2010 - 00:00

Willie back on tours

13/05/2010 - 00:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

PEARL farmer and retailer Willie Creek Pearls has enhanced its land-based touring business with the acquisition of an established Broome tour operator.

Willie back on tours

PEARL farmer and retailer Willie Creek Pearls has enhanced its land-based touring business with the acquisition of an established Broome tour operator.

Owned by the Banfield family since 1994, Broome-based Willie Creek Pearls recently bought Broome Sightseeing Tours for more than $100,000 from Scott and Sheridon Robertson, who were headed back to Perth after founding the award-winning business 11 years ago.

Patriarch Don Banfield, a wheat and sheep farmer from the South West, was originally lured to Broome by Lord Alistair McAlpine to partner in touring company Broome Coachlines.

Willie Creek Pearls chief executive Tony Maio says the company considered establishing a new touring company as a means to get back into taking tours of Broome after the family sold the coach company in 1996 (to concentrate on the pearl farm operations) and then bought Pearl Luggers in 2006.

“We had been looking at ways of completing the tour service back into Broome,” Mr Maio says.

“And incorporating the Pearl Luggers historical pearling tour into Scott’s tour was fantastic.”

In preparation for the upcoming peak season, where staff numbers double to 100, the company has lured good quality former employees back to Broome with flexible and positive working arrangements rather than relying on transient staff.

Last month, Willie Creek won two awards at the 2010 Australia’s North West Tourism Awards in the land-based operator and retail operator categories.

“Winning awards is about maintaining top quality tourism products,” Mr Maio says.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options