City of Busselton council endorse re-branding strategy for the region

The City of Busselton council showed unanimous support to build brand awareness of Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingup in its marketing material of events.

The move comes after the Geographe and Margaret River tourism bureaus combined in 2014, at which time the city agreed to support ‘the Margaret River region’ as an umbrella brand for tourism and destination marketing.

Concerns were raised that sub-brands such as Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingup had not been marketed as “prominently” as they should have resulting in lost awareness of these destinations.

City of Busselton director of community and commercial services Cliff Frewing said the introduction of new marketing material would be phased in as the city reproduced new material to promote upcoming events.

Mr Frewing said the city would also require organisations which received funding for events to promote the location of the event in their promotional material.

“To a large extent, the city already promotes the location where the events are being held,” he said.

“One of the main impacts is that this change requires the organisation to market the location name in its promotional material. The aim is simply to ensure the event is co-promoted with the location where the event is held.

“These sort of events include the iconic Busselton Jetty Swim, Taj Small Fries Event, Dunsborough X-adventure, all of which are synonymous with the locality in which they are held.”

Vasse MP and shadow minister for tourism Libby Mettam said it was essential that Busselton had fair recognition as the events capital of the Margaret River region. 

Ms Mettam said Busselton had an established name in the international Ironman circuit and was growing popularity through the many events it attracts.

“It is fact that Margaret River Region has greater reach internationally largely due to our reputation for wine comparable to Bordeaux,” she said.

“However that does not mean the City of Busselton and towns of Dunsborough and Yallingup cannot be promoted in their own right. 

“Furthermore we cannot take tourists for fools and there is no reason why our towns of Busselton Dunsborough and Yallingup shouldn’t be promoted.”

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association chief executive officer Claire Savage said their organisation was responsible for more than 700 businesses that were members of the association.

Ms Savage said ‘Your Margaret River Region’ brand was developed in consultation with industry and stakeholders, and informed by formal research undertaken in key visitor source markets including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. 

She said through this process it was determined that the brand would be used to refer to the geographical area encompassed by the City of Busselton and Shire of Augusta-Margaret River in markets where awareness was still developing, specifically interstate and international markets. 

Where awareness was higher, such as the intrastate market, or within the region itself, town names would take precedence, she said.

“MRBTA will continue to take this approach in our own promotional efforts – for example, the visitor centres across the region are clearly branded with the town names, and the destination website highlights each of the towns and the things to see and do within them. 

“We are very supportive of the individual towns being used in marketing communications where appropriate.  For example, the City has a strong events strategy and it would make sense that events held in Dunsborough and Busselton are celebrated as such – for example, the Busselton Jetty Swim or X-Adventure Dunsborough. 

“We don’t dictate to businesses how they brand themselves, this is a decision that they make based on what makes the most commercial sense for their business.” 

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