The West

Our beaches are great but still lacking

Perth's beaches and riverfront may be among the best in the world - but visitors want more.

As a result, the Tourism Council's strategy to boost tourism numbers, released this week, has recommended that the city's beachside accommodation be improved and a greater focus be given to evening activities on the beach and riverfront.

"Water sports in Fremantle, diving at Rottnest Island, deep sea fishing off Hillarys, swimming at Rockingham, dolphins in Mandurah and Swan River cruises are classic Perth experiences," the report said.

"But discerning locals and visitors are always in search of some extra comfort and amenity."

The report said facilities at landmark beaches such as Scarborough and Cottesloe had fallen behind their local and national counterparts. Both needed improved infrastructure and management to "realise their potential as major attractions for the local community and beyond".

This should include boardwalks, seating, shade and play spaces.

"Similarly, local icons Rottnest Island and Fremantle each require sustained investment in visitor infrastructure to enable them to remain competitive in a global market," the report said.

"For Fremantle, accelerating the revitalisation of Victoria Quay and the passenger terminal to incorporate a high-quality arrival and departure experience is essential for the 450,000 to 550,000 visitors who pass through each year.

"For Rottnest Island, a luxury accommodation option is fundamental to re-engage high yield locals and the lucrative Asian market."

More recreational moorings and jetties along the Swan River and the coast would improve access, activate key destinations and provide a unique visitor experience.

Some of the strategy's other recommendations included:

·Improve public transport to coastal and riverfront locations, including light rail to Scarborough beach.

·Establish a superyacht boat harbour and upgrade Fisherman's Wharf.

·Provide value-added waterfront experiences such as night markets, beachfront sun bars, beach chair and umbrella hire and food trucks.

The West Australian

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