Seafarers sets sail on tourism voyage

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Mayor Camilo Blanco with Seafarers Association operations manager John Hague and Laura Hawes at the Visitors Centre.
Camera IconMayor Camilo Blanco with Seafarers Association operations manager John Hague and Laura Hawes at the Visitors Centre. Credit: Alexander Scott

The Port Hedland Visitor Centre is set to enter into a new chapter next week as new managers prepare to revitalise the tourism hub.

A contract was awarded to the Seafarers Association earlier this year to take over operations at the centre, after not-for-profit organisation FORM declined to renew its deal with the Town of Port Hedland.

The company is due to officially begin managing the PHVC on Monday and plans to hit the ground running.

Seafarers operations manager John Hague said the organisation would continue to provide all existing tours and expand on regular operations. He said the company would use digital media to promote the centre’s facilities.

“There’s going to be a focus on social media to promote our services, we want to develop a platform to increase local and international tourism,” he said.

Mr Hague said there would be no interruption to the service of the centre during the shutdown.

“The centre will be closed, but all services will be offered through the Seafarers Centre, the telephones are linked so any calls will be forwarded,” he said.

“We’ll be running all the tours and our staff have been briefed on how the tours operate and we’ve spoken to the tour operators themselves.”

Town Mayor Camilo Blanco said there was potential to reach new audiences overseas with the Seafarers Association managing the site and to showcase Port Hedland to the world.

“We are in a unique position to diversify from the traditional mining and resources sector and develop into a recognised tourism destination in WA,” he said

“I know tourism is a passion shared by many locals, so my priority is to ensure this partnership expands our tourism focus and showcases our unique and often underrated nature, adventure, and industrial experiences.”

Seafarers has a two-year contract with the Town, with the option for three 12-month extensions.

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