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Dolphins prop up quiet time for visitors

Bunbury’s tourism industry seems to be in store for a mixed bag this July holidays with business expectations set low by accommodation providers.

“July is dead,” Quality Hotel Lighthouse general manager Christina Mitchell said.

“It’s reasonably typical of the winter holidays as we generally don’t have a lot going on around town, it’s probably our quietest school holidays of the year.”

Hotel Lord Forrest front office manager Jade Goodall had a similar view and agreed the July school holidays were the quietest holiday period of the year.

“We still have families coming, but not as much as in summer,” she said.

According to Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership tourism marketing and development manager Anissa Williams, visitation during the July school holidays has always been heavily influenced by the weather.

However, some accommodation providers were bucking the so far quiet trend.

“Accommodation properties such as Discovery Parks Bunbury Foreshore indicate that despite the rain forecast, bookings from Perth are still strong,” she said.

“We still have a number of grey nomads stopping in Bunbury on their way around Australia, in particular visitors from Victoria.”

While business for accommodation providers may have been quiet, Ms Williams said tourist attractions like the Dolphin Discovery Centre were enjoying a decent amount of visitors.

“Since Saturday, the Dolphin Discovery Centre has experienced strong international visitor numbers with more than 47 per cent registering international postcodes, 20 per cent from Perth suburbs and 4 per cent from the Great Southern,” she said.

Quest Bunbury franchisee Jodie Schroeder said while the July holidays were always quiet, the refurbishment of the DDC had helped to draw more people to the area, especially families.

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