Tourism growth in the Peel is pivotal to the region’s future and the recent Tourism Investment Forum was a great opportunity for Government and industry representatives to come together to identify our unique opportunities and the actions required to realise Peel’s potential in this industry.

David Templeman, Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture & the Arts opened the forum with a story of meeting an American tourist at a Mandurah coffee shop who was completely smitten with the region repeatedly and enthusiastically referring to it as “magnificent”. Mr Templeman made the observation that it’s often visitors who see a place with fresh eyes, and appreciate the things locals can sometimes take for granted and no longer really see.

Fortunately, there did not appear to be any lack of appreciation for the region’s tourism potential in the attendees of the forum, nor lack of understanding the critical piece tourism plays in the region’s overall development and ability to thrive. With that enthusiasm and a high level of engagement, attendees collaborated in groups to identify ways we can work together to unlock the tourism potential of the region in building a Tourism Capital Investment Framework.

The rationale of the Forum and the resulting framework was to identify the current barriers to the Peel tourism industry and then, more importantly, to define opportunities and the actions needed to address those constraints so we can attract growth and maximise Peel’s tourism potential.

We need more jobs in Peel, especially to support our youth employment, and we need economic growth and diversification – tourism growth is key to addressing these issues. As Paddi Creevey, Peel Development Commission Chair put it, “It’s time to take our foot off the hose and create jobs through tourism”. And that means finding ways to work together for the greater benefit of the whole region and all of its communities.