Collie has improved the tools it uses to market itself to tourists after a new website was unveiled on Friday night at the Collie River Valley Tourism Re-Launch held at the Collie Visitor Centre.
The website was one of several projects the Collie River Valley Marketing Group have been working on for a number of years in a bid to try and encourage people to visit the town and increase visitation numbers.
Collie River Valley Marketing Group chair Julie Hillier said it was about giving people the potential to view Collie through “a new lens” and to align with Bunbury Geographe.
“It’s about a new era being signaled around one of the new industries in town and that’s tourism,” she said.
Shire of Collie president and Collie River Valley Marketing Group committee member Sarah Stanley said Collie was undergoing a transformation.
“We have a proud history with traditional industries of mining and power generation and we will be using those skills and knowledge as we transform and develop new industries,” she said.
Along with the website, the group also revealed their finished 18 month video project with Lomax Media, which will be used as another way to market Collie in the future.
Two of the three videos highlight the region and things for tourists to do here, including man-made and natural attractions.
The third video highlights a virtual reality experience with people from Bunbury experiencing the trails from our area.
Collie River Valley Marketing Group committee member Ian Bushell said Collie was a lovely place and they wanted to showcase that.
“We wanted something else that didn’t just highlight the attractions around Collie and there is many, we put together a scope of about 15 attractions and events in Collie but we wanted something else that would make people stand up and notice what we were doing and Lomax Media came back to us with the idea of virtual reality,” he said.
Ms Stanley said it was a it was a big project and a lot of work went into it.
We’re really proud of it. It’s a really nice way to show off our community.Shire of Collie president and Collie River Valley Marketing Group committee member Sarah Stanley
“We’re really proud of it. It’s a really nice way to show off our community,” she said.
The general consensus from the people in the virtual reality video were that they were genuinely surprised when told the trails were in Collie.
Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said some people have a preconceived idea about the town.
“It’s that preconceived idea that we need to chip away at,” Mr Murray said.
He said he has personally seen a progression in tourism with the weekends becoming busier in town, as opposed to previous years and that progression just takes time.
Tourism it’s not the be all and end all, but it is part of the bigger picture. We just need to embrace it and all work together. Margaret River took 40 years before it got anywhere.Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray
“Tourism it’s not the be all and end all, but it is part of the bigger picture. We just need to embrace it and all work together. Margaret River took 40 years before it got anywhere,” he said.
Ms Stanley said that they developed the tourism site first and she is developing a local site which would be coming in the next few weeks.