Action needs to be taken for tourism growth | OPINION

Over the past few weeks it has become evident that that there is a lot of potential for tourism in the Avon Valley.

As our Eye on Avon Tourism series comes to a close, it has been great to see the conversation generated around the articles and the topic of tourism development in the region.

I've had people suggest new and improved signage on Great Eastern Highway as you approach Northam, a viewing platform at the grain silos on Northam-Toodyay Road and even wine tours with the perspective breweries and wineries around the Avon Valley.

These ideas are great - but they mean nothing if we don't act on them.

Our three major local shires need to listen to these ideas and take a focused approach to tourism.

I feel, after speaking to all our shires, relevant politicians and local vendors, that the next step towards tourism growth is collaboration.

As mentioned over the past few weeks, packaging an experience is an attractive incentive for visitors to come to the Avon Valley.

Whether that be a hands-on cultural experience at the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre with some our our local elders or a historical walking tour through Northam - the opportunities are there.

Many people would be shocked to know that Northam has WA's second highest number of heritage-listed buildings - only coming behind Fremantle.

Why do we not advertise this? Why don't we have a heritage trail walk for visitors?

Many people assume York and Toodyay have more historical buildings because of the way they are prioritised and advertised.

We could be working together with our neighbours to become a heritage hotspot.

Another important aspect to tourism, especially in Northam, is branding.

Whether or not you are in support of the new Ready.Set.Go slogan, it is important that the Shire of Northam has a strong and positive image.

It is all well and good being a commercial hub for the Wheatbelt but I believe Ready.Set.Go encompasses an adventure-like attitude - the idea that things are happening in our town.

As the new slogan is launched in the coming weeks it will be interesting to see how it drives the Shire of Northam's approach to tourism.