Tourism Opportunity Study and Product Development Strategy for Collie, Western Australia

Collie is a township in Western Australia whose economy is largely tied to coal mining and coal-based power generation. The demand for coal fired energy in Western Australia is diminishing, due to a surplus of power and moves away from high carbon to low carbon generating sources. To avoid a long-term decline in business confidence and investment requires the local economy to be diversified and jobs created. Our approach to diversify and enhance the tourism component of the economy was to:

  1. Through consultation, market and product analysis, identify potential tourism experiences that could grow the local tourism economy
  2. Assess the opportunities and generate a shortlist of opportunities most likely to grow the local tourism economy
  3. Expand the shortlisted opportunities into product proposals, to maximise their competiveness and ability to generate economic benefits
  4. Provide an implementation plan to direct how the proposals can be moved forward

Approximately 100 tourism opportunities were identified. The Project Consultant then shortlisted the 100 down to 42 opportunities:

  • 6 opportunities to connect the region;
  • 9 event opportunities;
  • 15 nature tourism opportunities; and
  • 12 cultural tourism opportunities.

Each opportunity was then evaluated by the tourism consultant to determine its:

  • fit within existing tourism planning documents;
  • fit with the local brand and competitive strengths;
  • capability to attract overnight visitors from the target market; and
  • capability to generate employment and economic impact within the Collie LGA and especially the township.

This resulted in the 42 opportunities being reduced to four. The Project Steering Committee who discussed these at length, and then considered their:

  1. Match / ability to enhance the Collie tourism destination brand;
  2. Match / ability to attract the target market of Family Connectors;
  3. Capacity to leverage off recent efforts to get the projects going; and
  4. Potential to attract overnight visitors into Collie and generate subsequent direct economic benefits.

We then benchmarked the selected two opportunities, and sourced additional ideas to make them more compelling and viable.

The opportunities that were further developed and then implemented were:

  1. A high octane destination hub featuring the redevelopment of the Collie Motorplex into Western Australia’s premier motoring facility, combined with the development of Lake Kepwari into a day use and managed camping facility for water skiers, campers and Motorplex event participants
  2. A nature hub integrating nature-based accommodation with mountain biking, vessel hire, café, restaurant and functions

Both projects have been implemented. Both projects generated the forecast visitation, employment and economic stimulus for the local area.

Tourism Western Australia
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