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Record Numbers Explore Bass Coast

The beautiful coastline from Grantville to Inverloch proves popular among visitors

By Bass Coast Shire Council - 13th February 2002 - Back to News

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The Bass Coast information centres at Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Inverloch recorded their busiest January on record last month.

32,000 people visited the three information centres in January 2002.

The record number of visitors was not unexpected, as numbers have increased every year since January 2000.

“Accessibility to Melbourne and the fantastic natural attractions in the Bass Coast region has a lot to do with the rise in visitor numbers,” said Peter Francis, Bass Coast Shire Council’s Visitor Services Manager.

Bass Coast Shire Council operates the centres, which are open seven days per week. The centres are staffed by a mixture of volunteers and paid staff. The Phillip Island centre, which is the busiest centre, has mainly paid staff. The Wonthaggi and Inverloch centres are predominantly run by volunteers.

“Many people who previously only travelled to Mornington Peninsula or along the Great Ocean Road are now discovering the beautiful coastline from Grantville to Inverloch,” said Peter.

In 2001 the centres referred more than half a million dollars worth of accommodation to local accommodation operators.

Maree King, volunteer at the Wonthaggi Centre, said that accommodation in January has been very hard to find with volunteers and staff sometimes spending up to half an hour just trying to find a bed for people for the night.

Frank Waters, long time volunteer at the Wonthaggi Centre said that thousands of brochures were given out to visitors last month.

“The Sun Surf and Sand brochure in particular was brilliant with visitors and locals alike discovering what was on in the area,” said Frank. “Some visitors actually extended their stay in the area to enable them to participate in events later in January."

Frank said the most popular brochures were the locality brochures for Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Inverloch.

"Bass Coast Shire Council is able to operate three centres due to the very dedicated and experienced group of 36 volunteers,” said Euan Wightman, Visitor Services Coordinator. “We have also stuck to the core business of information centres which is to provide information.”

“Despite working harder than ever, our volunteers obviously provide an excellent service judging from the consistently glowing comments in our visitor book,” said Euan. “We have much to thank them for."

For information about volunteering at one of the information centres, contact Peter Francis on 1300 366 422 or Euan Wightman on 5671 2444.


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