The Shire of Exmouth is set to take over responsibility of visitor servicing in the town after a request from the Ningaloo Visitor Centre management committee.
The motion was approved at an ordinary council meeting last month after the NVCMC informed the council that management requirements of the visitor centre were beyond the capacity of a volunteer committee.
Shire president Matthew Niikkula said the council was told the current approach was no longer sustainable and could not continue without significant Shire funding and resourcing.
“Visitor servicing is essential in supporting tourism demand and the NVCMC has done it incredibly well over a number of years,” he said.
“Visitor centre operations are becoming increasingly complex and the demand on volunteers to manage staff, booking systems, online information and marketing is growing.
NVCMC chairwoman Jackie Brooks said from a volunteer point of view, the time constraints and workload had grown so much. “I’m spending 20 to 30 hours a week on the visitor centre, which is just too much for a volunteer,” she said.
“Plus, the Shire wants to take on more responsibility when it comes to tourism and there is a trend at the moment for local governments to take over control of visitor centres.”
The expertise of the NVCMC will not go to waste with the establishment of a new advisory group that will lead the effective development of Exmouth and Ningaloo as tourist destinations.
The Shire chief executive will report back to the council with the transition date and arrangements by May 31.