Perth Hills Tourism Product Gap Analysis

Planning
Place
The Client
Tourism WA
Project Team
Murray Casselton
Director - Planning
Ben Kent
Principal - Place
Alison Healey
Senior Consultant - Planning
Graeme Wallace
Consultant - Urban Design
The Project

Perth Hills is an emerging visitor destination with a largely unrealised tourism potential. It is known for its scenic beauty and natural attractions such as John Forrest National Park and Araluen Botanic Gardens as well as soft adventure experiences such as mountain bike bridle and walking trails, and unique food and wine experiences that draw from the region’s fresh produce. The State government has identified the region as a tourism priority, leading to the development of a Pickering Brook and Surrounds Sustainability and Tourism Strategy to guide future development and investment.

Our Role

Tourism WA commissioned element to deliver a tourism product gap analysis to inform and enable greater understanding of the current product offer and opportunities for future development. This involved in-depth analysis of the region’s five LGA planning schemes and policies and the broader regulatory context, an audit of the current product offer and developing strategies to inform future directions.

Outcomes

Engagement with local stakeholders uncovered a strong desire to retain the region's tranquil, country identity by ensuring future development is of a complementary scale and intensity. Many of the most suitable opportunities for tourism product development relate to strengthening existing markets with supplementary products. This was particularly of note for agritourism with the potential for orchardists and farmers to offer ‘farm gate’ sales, ‘meet the grower’ activities and farm stays. Eco-tourism is another area primed for significant growth including sustainable accommodation, low food mile produce. Perth Hills is also ideally placed to offer rich Aboriginal cultural tourism being both close to the city yet surrounded by country.

What We Delivered
  • Stakeholder engagement program – online and face-to-face
  • Literature review, site observations, tourism trends analysis and spatial mapping of current offer
  • Product audit and gap analysis – mapped across the region to understand interdependencies and key relationships
  • In-depth analysis of technical and regulatory context – water, waste and bushfire management, site and environmental challenges, market and investment context, planning and land use frameworks
  • Strategic recommendations to boost product development with a short-term focus on strengthening existing markets, then diversifying the offer in line with market and economic capacity

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