Rottnest businesses are going on the front foot to fight the perception that the island is too expensive.
And they are putting their money where their mouths are, spending $700,000 on a summer marketing campaign designed to show that the island can be good value.
The campaign includes a 32-page booklet of discount vouchers.
Rottnest Island Business Community chairman Ian Dawson said island retailers remained confident of a good summer despite disappointing winter visitor numbers and a second failed attempt to develop a luxury hotel.
Visitor numbers for July, August, September and October were down 15 per cent on last year, while the number of applications for accommodation over summer dropped 17 per cent.
Mr Dawson said the island business community wanted to re-engage with members of the public and show them that Rottnest could be a great day out.
"We have welcomed the announcement by the Rottnest Island Authority that it will conduct urgent research into the recent downturn in numbers," Mr Dawson said. "We believe it is critical that we understand the expectations of the WA public.
"This is particularly important given the second failed attempt to develop a luxury resort on the island - the loss of which will cost the island business community millions of dollars in lost revenue."
Mr Dawson said businesses had invested more than $20 million over the past three years to improve infrastructure and services on the island.
This included a new seafood cafe, Dome cafe and aqua park and new twilight and eco-sailing cruises.
The hotel, general store, surf boutique, bakery and internet cafe have been refurbished and a new online booking system has been introduced.
Mr Dawson said the decision by John Spence's Karma Group to take over the lease of the Rottnest Lodge was also important and was another example of the business community being prepared to invest in the island.
"We know we have a great product - our success at the WA Tourism Awards tells us that," he said."Now we just have to let people know about it."
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