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Holiday hurdle

Info centre closure hinders tourism

NO HELP: All that’s left are visitor brochures at the Coal Creek Visitor Information Centre during the centre’s winter closure and Leongatha resident Carol Harry isn’t pleased.

AS the visitor information Centre at Korumburra’s Coal Creek shuts down for winter, many locals are left wondering how its closure will affect tourism and businesses – and what other consequences will ensue.

South Gippsland Shire Council shut the centre until December and has urged visitors to use the Foster Visitor Information Centre.

In a recent Star post on social media, 100 percent of people who engaged disagreed with the closure of the centre.

“Exposure to Coal Creek and its well hidden and poorly advertised attractions is just one of the strengths of having the information centre based there,” Marie Gerrard-Staton from Korumburra said.

“Its proximity to Melbournites and ready access to the lovely flesh and blood volunteers who can also promote the region is another strength.

“It’s merely another cost cutting, short sighted, unpopular example of council’s inexplicable retrograde decision making.”

A frequent visitor to the area, Karen Penrose, said the statement that “everyone uses online” for travel research is not only untrue, but also not justification to cut services, especially when many visitors are aging nomads.

“When we first visited the area in 2015, we visited all the information centres. Coal Creek was our first, then Wonthaggi and then Foster,” she said.

Wendy Earl from Leongatha said visitors frequently ask her where they can find more information and to send them to Foster was “a joke”.

The reason for the closure, according to council, is the Korumburra centre is not well patronised over winter.

Leongatha resident Carol Harry said this was no excuse and closure over winter may result in visitors forming an assumption that it was closed permanently. 

“That’s what worries me, it’s a ripple effect and it just rolls on,” she said,

“If people are recommended to go to Foster, then there won’t be that traffic through Leongatha and Korumburra.

“If people are coming here, they might pick up a boogie board or something for their kayak in Leongatha. They’ll fuel up here and go to our supermarkets.

“You’re not going to go to Foster to get info on Phillip Island. You’d be going backwards.”

Council advised the region’s official visitor brochures, including maps, would still be available in the Coal Creek foyer during the closure period.

However, for many locals and tourists collectively, this is not good enough.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29196

Posted by on Jun 25 2019. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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