New centre makes a splash

Tari JeffersSouth Western Times
Dolphin Discovery Centre chief executive David Kerr, second from left, with volunteers Joel Massara, Miyuki Higurashi and Ana Kuhlmann celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening redeveloped facility.Picture: Tari Jeffers
Camera IconDolphin Discovery Centre chief executive David Kerr, second from left, with volunteers Joel Massara, Miyuki Higurashi and Ana Kuhlmann celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening redeveloped facility.Picture: Tari Jeffers Credit: Tari Jeffers/South Western Times

Big increases in visitor nights and anecdotal evidence of improvements to the Bunbury accommodation sector are just some of the rewards reaped since the redeveloped Dolphin Discovery Centre opened a year ago.

This weekend, the centre will celebrate its one year anniversary since the upgraded facility opened.

Centre chief executive David Kerr said the first year had exceeded expectations. “It was very much a year of learning how to get control of a significantly-expanded business,” he said.

“Now we’re in a phase of consolidating that learning and we will see significant growth still to come in many areas.”

Mr Kerr said the centre had made about $3.5 million in revenue in the year since the reopening and staff numbers had grown from 14 to 58 people.

“Our expectation was to double turnover, we’ve kind of trebled it,” Mr Kerr said.

As of October 31, the centre had seen increases of 45 per cent in domestic visitor nights, 33.5 per cent in international over-night visitors, 22.8 per cent in domestic overnight visitors and 28.1 per cent in intrastate day trip visitors.

“That would suggest our profile has significantly increased,” Mr Kerr said.

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