Busselton Jetty has achieved a record 2018/2019 financial year with Underwater Observatory numbers up 14%, Train riders up 15% and turnover up 29%.
34% of visitors to the Jetty are from international high yielding markets, outstripping the percentage of international visitors entering the region indicating a strong international reputation and a desire to visit the Jetty.
This has led to a record amount being paid to the Jetty Maintenance Fund by Busselton Jetty Inc (BJI), which contributes 25% of its turnover to the City of Busselton reserve so the Jetty is preserved for future generations.\
BJI Chair Jenny Sheehan said the volunteer organisation will contribute nearly $900,000 to the Jetty Reserve for ongoing maintenance as part of the 50 Year Plan.
“We are very proud to be reducing the reliance on ratepayers to fund Jetty maintenance, but at the same time bringing record numbers of tourists to Busselton,” she said.
“In the hub and spoke tourism model, we know tourists love their icons and in 2018/2019 we welcomed a massive 529,375 to the Jetty, who then dispersed and spent money locally.”
Busselton Jetty Inc will be holding its AGM on October 17 in the Ballaarat Room of Railway House from 6pm to highlight its achievements and present future plans to Jetty Members and the general public.
This has been a big year for Busselton and the Jetty being awarded WA’s Major Tourist Attraction, receiving bronze in the Australian Tourism Awards and winning the WA Heritage Award.
“The tourism industry is constantly changing, and to keep up and stay ahead we need to continually evolve and create a new, unique and authentic product. However, we also need to keep building on the Busselton Jetty story and keep the history alive,” said Ms Sheehan.
Key social, economic and environmental achievements have included the introduction of underwater dining, the launch of Australia’s only Solar Powered Jetty Train, greeting new Jetty Patron, former Chief Scientist Lyn Beazley and working with WA Universities on Marine Pharmacology to hopefully study Jetty marine creatures that could hold the key to curing cancer.
BJI CEO Lisa Shreeve said the next instalment of innovation as the Jetty keeps evolving was the implementation of a designated swimming area 1.7km off shore this summer, construction of the Village at the end of the Jetty featuring food and beverages and marine education zones in September 2020 and then continued planning for a new Underwater Observatory, the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre.