Toodyay and York tourism numbers rise for end of financial year figures

Decline: The Northam Visitor Centre had a 30 per cent drop in foot traffic in the 2018/19 financial year. Photo: Supplied.
Decline: The Northam Visitor Centre had a 30 per cent drop in foot traffic in the 2018/19 financial year. Photo: Supplied.

Tourism figures are continuing to rise around the Avon Valley, with Toodyay and York Visitor Centres recording improved numbers for the 2018/19 financial year compared to the previous period.

Northam did not record the same success at its visitor centre, with foot traffic down nearly 30 per cent on 2017/18 statistics.

The results come after the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate published a series of articles as part of an Eye on Avon tourism campaign.

For the 12 months ending June 2019, York recorded the biggest increase in visitors centre foot traffic in the Avon, with more than 46,000 people going through the Town Hall site.

This was an increase of 10,000 on the previous year.

Toodyay Visitor Centre numbers remained stable, up 2000 visitors from 2017/18 and Northam recorded more than 7400 visitors compared to 10,000 the year before.

The figures come as Northam's Bilya Koort Boodja Indigenous centre celebrates its first year of operation and the completion of the 2019 Avon Descent, where water levels led to 59 competitors not completing the race and 15 deciding to not take place on the morning of the event.

Speaking to the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate earlier in the year, Shire of Northam chief executive Jason Whiteaker said despite the visitor centre recording statistics for tourism in the region, it does not always define the state of play in the tourism industry.

"It depends how you define tourism," he said.

"From my point of view it is not about competing with Toodyay and York, and if they are busy on weekends that is great.

"Northam is busy on weekends - it is just that we are spread out. If you drive to York or Toodyay, it is one main street - everyone is there.

"If it was all concentrated in one area it would be interesting to see what the numbers were actually like in comparison. I think it is just a different dynamic."