Business Victor Harbor is excited about the consolidation of two of the City of Victor Harbor's most prominent tourist support services.
The City of Victor Harbor's decision to consolidate the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and the Whale Centre into one centralised location is welcomed by both local businesses and the community alike.
By combining the Visitor Information Centre with the Whale Centre, local residents and visitors will be able to enjoy a one stop shop and immerse themselves in some of the local offerings.
It is anticipated that the Visitor Information Centre will move to the site of the Whale Centre on Railway Terrace in early 2021, enabling these services to operate more efficiently.
The two services are important to the economy and reputation of Victor Harbor.
The revenue generated by the expenditure of tourism is valued at $153 million per annum to the Victor Harbor economy, generated by 1.218 million annual visitors.
The VIC currently services 70,000 visitors per annum, based on an average of counter inquiries and door counter data collected. This represents 5.7 per cent of visitors to the city.
The Whale Centre services approximately 60,000 visitors per annum, based on door counter data, while 15,000 visitors pass through the interpretive centre annually.
The move is in line with the City of Victor Harbor's strategic direction and is expected to eliminate the duplication of services and ultimately achieve cost savings.
"By consolidating these two services, the City of Victor Harbor will be able to redirect resources into promoting our region through destination marketing and enhance Victor Harbor's online visitor information offering," chairman of Business Victor Harbor Michael Schubert said.
"It is important that these services work purposefully to encourage visitors to both explore our beautiful region and support them when they're here."
According to the City of Victor Harbor, more than half the products booked by the VIC are for businesses or experiences outside the local region. They are anticipating that the transition to a concierge type service will facilitate bookings between visitors and local tourism businesses.
"The online offering will help reach a broader audience with an increased focus on promoting local which is great for the businesses of Victor Harbor that rely upon these services and on tourism," Michael Schubert said.
Works will be required to make the transition, with changes needed to the current floorplan of the Whale Centre to accommodate the VIC. The Council has prepared preliminary plans and will be seeking input from staff and volunteers before finalising.
They will also be seeking grant funding opportunities to support the move.
The council is also investigating sub-leasing the site which is in a prominent position on Victor Harbor's foreshore.