Freo's View


Posted in chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 24, 2018


Because I am old and all my brain cells have died I missed yesterday’s Fremantle’s Destination Marketing update function of the Chamber of Commerce. I thought it was at 7.30pm when it was at 7.30am. Hence I can only give you some feedback I received from participants but no first-hand report about it.

Linda Wayman, the chair of the City of Fremantle Destination Marketing expert committee, reported to the room at Fremantle Oval full with business people that the main focus of new destination marketing will be on the region and Perth metropolitan area.

It will also be about getting out of town people to stay longer in Fremantle and to push Freo as the gateway to Rottnest and the SouthWest.

A new Christmas campaign will start in November to make clear that Fremantle is not on hold just because the Kings Square redevelopment is going on.

Retailers wanted to be informed better of what is going on in Fremantle and how they all can profit from larger events in our city.

My concern with the new marketing strategy-if council approves it-is that regional and metro marketing will basically be more of weekend marketing, as most people from the suburbs visit Freo on weekends, while international and interstate visitors come every day of the week.

From very recent personal observations at the Roundhouse I can report an increase in numbers of visitors from China, Malaysia and Indonesia. That is a huge market to consider and Fremantle needs to ask how we can tap into that better. What can we offer specifically to the Asian visitors? What do they come for? What are they not getting in Fremantle?

More hotels will no doubt keep more people in Fremantle overnight, so let’s hope all those planned hotels will be built very soon and fast.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bid, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, retail, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on July 9, 2018


It is good to see that the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is making a real effort in connecting with small businesses. I have been critical of the FCoC in the past because I believe they only represent the big end of town and not the small retailers, so establishing a retail and small business committee is a good step forward.

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce is calling for expressions of interest from people across Fremantle’s small business sector to nominate for its new Small Business & Retail Committee. It doesn’t matter where your business is located in Fremantle, or if you are in retail, hospitality, professional or personal services – the door is open. The focus of the group is to advise Chamber advocacy, champion the interests of small business and contribute advice to build a better foundation for Fremantle’s traders. Non-members are welcome to apply.

Let us know who you are, the business you represent and your motivation to be part of the committee. Please send your expression of interest by 20 July 2018 to:


Together with the new FREO NOW, former BID, we might finally make some inroads into supporting and marketing Fremantle as a destination for shopping with a difference in an eclectic variety of shops.

Roel Loopers



Posted in chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, communication, community, Uncategorized by freoview on June 9, 2018


The 10th annual Fremantle Business Awards event was held at the Esplanade Hotel last night and THE WINNERS ARE:

Corporate Responsibility: Fremantle Foundation

Excellence in Hospitality: Esplanade Hotel and Kazoomies. Joint winners!

Excellence in Innovation: Black Swan Health

Excellence in Strategy, Marketing, Communications: Photography Project

Marine Industry Excellence: TAMS Group

Outstanding Community Event: Long Table Dinner (National Hotel, St Patrick’s, BID)

Outstanding New Business: Viewport Virtual Reality

Outstanding Personal Achievement: Amber Kane of Ellen Health

Retail Excellence: The Blue Budha

Sustainability Initiative: CleanSubSea

Tourism Excellence: Fremantle Prison

Business of the Year: Media on Mars


Congratulations to all of you!

Roel Loopers



Posted in chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, comsumers, retail, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on February 27, 2018


Ivan Dzeba, the very likeable and always relaxed new president of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce spoke at the Fremantle Network at the National Hotel on Monday night.

Dzeba has been operating the very popular Benny’s Bar and Cafe on the Cappuccino Strip for 18 years so he has witnessed many changes in Fremantle and he firmly believes that Freo is a safer place now than when he opened his bar.

He said the priority for the Chamber was to support local businesses and attracting people in the present day.

Fremantle needs to become better at how we market ourselves and not create negative impressions.

The Chamber sees incredible scope in connecting businesses in O’Connor and Hilton.

We have so many things in Fremantle that other destinations don’t have but our destination marketing brand is not strong enough. There needs to be an umbrella message for Fremantle, not just lots of little unconnected messages we are getting on Fremantle Story, Dzeba said.

I have been wondering for years why there is no stronger focus on destination marketing from the City of Fremantle and getting the Fun Freo message out better, stronger and more focused.

Retail marketing is wasted as we can not compete at present with the large shopping centres. If destination marketing gets the people to Fremantle they will also shop.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bid, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, retail, tourism, traders by freoview on February 9, 2017

The decision to continue with the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District was deferred on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee because members were not convinced that BID has found its niche yet, in what Chair Andrew Sullivan called the Holy Trinity of BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the CoF. It had five years to find that focus.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom told the Councillors about plans for new events, markets, getting external funding etc. but the elected members questioned if it should be BID’s role to organise events or rather to connect traders better with events the city and outside organisations already put up.

How do businesses, especially retailers, get to benefit from events and what are the programs, outcomes and benefits councillors asked.

Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce spoke against extending the BID contract for another three years.

It was questioned how effective and successful BID could be when relying on a handful of volunteers and staff.

BID has been successful with running treasure hunts during school holidays which attract large numbers of children with parents who stay in Fremantle long, discover new businesses and often come back a second day to do the whole list.

For example the Sculpture@Bathers show could have a fringe events where artists who are not invited to the main show on Bathers Beach exhibit their sculptures in the windows of shops all over Fremantle and walking tours to view them could be organised by BID. Retailers could offer specials to people who come to events and tap into social media more and better.

For BID to want to organise new markets they should realise that there are already too many markets around Perth according to unhappy stall holders. The Friday night market at Princess May Market failed to attract new people and the Fremantle and E Shed markets, and the very successful South Beach food market and Growers Green farmers market cater for weekend visitors already.

The challenge for BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fremantle is to attract visitors to Fremantle at the start of the week. Freo is doing okay on Fridays and quite well on Saturdays and Sundays, but needs to get busier the first four days of the week. What can be organised to turn Freo from a weekend destination into an all week one?

I think the City will extend BID but it would require that the organisation deeply contemplates its role and find its focus because it has not been able to do that in BID’s first disappointing five years.

If my information is right I understand BID bought the artwork in front of Bathers Beach House and that is definitely not their role.

It should not be up to the CoF to come up with new ideas for BID because the concept is that this independent organisation would cut through red tape and connect with traders. If BID has a lack of concept, focus and ideas than the City’s marketing and economic development department might as well do it in house an use the $ 350,000.00 a year BID has been getting the last five years.


Roel Loopers


Posted in bid, business, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle by freoview on January 26, 2017

I hear there will be fantastic news for the Fremantle business community when the former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce will be signed up as the new CEO of the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District.

Unlike other FCoC heads the ever-smiling Milsom hardly ever complained about Fremantle council but with his can do attitude proactively initiated events to the benefit of everyone in Freo.

I fondly remember when Milsom suggested to have an Indonesian show at the Bathers Beach Sunset Food Market and he found out on the Saturday morning that the musicians had arrived but without instruments. No worries for Milsom who borrowed, begged and hired the instruments required and the evening was a great success.

That is the kind of positive problem solving attitude that Fremantle needs, so welcome back Tim. I am delighted!

Roel Loopers


Posted in chamber of commerce, election, fremantle, western australia by freoview on October 15, 2016

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will be holding a State of the State Lunch on October 21 at the Esplanade Hotel with Labor leader Mark McGowan.

Before Western Australia heads into election mode, this is your opportunity to hear directly from Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Leader of the Opposition on what plans a WA Labor State Government has for the Fremantle region. As a major hub for Western Australia’s trade, tourism, engineering and marine industries, the policies of any future State Government will have a major impact on the economic viability of the region.

This lunch will include a 2 course meal and beverages.

Time: 11.45am registration for a 12pm start – concludes at 2:00pm

RSVP by Tuesday, 18 October.

Register Now
21 October 2016
From 11:45 AM through 2:00 PM
Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges
Indian Ocean Suite


Posted in chamber of commerce, fremantle, retail, western australia by freoview on September 20, 2016



I am sad to hear that the delightful and beautiful Victoria Willets, Executive Manager of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce will be leaving the organisation to travel the world.

Victoria has been at the Chamber for five years and started there as an intern and moved up the ladder from receptionist to members officer and finally EM.

Her great positive energy and lovely smile will be missed in Freo.

There will be a goodbye party for Victoria but only for members of the Freo Chamber, so contact them for details.

Thanks for all your good work for Fremantle, Victoria!

Roel Loopers


Posted in chamber of commerce, fremantle by freoview on December 10, 2014

The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce has appointed Ms Olwyn Williams as the new CEO to replace the very active and much-liked Tim Milsom.

Ms Willimas has extensive experience in stakeholder management, retail, governance, asset management and business development. Her previous roles were CEO pf the Tax Council of WA, Principal Policy Advisor at the Department of Culture and the Arts and genaral Manager of Spare Parts Theatre.

Roel Loopers


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