Freo's View

TOURISM SHOULD BE FREMANTLE PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2017

 

 

The rather optimistic prediction by Sirona Capital that the Kings Square Project innovative and exciting FOMO retail concept will double tourism in Fremantle made me think on how we can increase tourist numbers and offer a better tourism experience in the port city.

For reasons I cannot understand there is reluctance to sell the great brand of Fremantle in destination marketing, and our retail marketing is not anywhere good enough. Retail is hard to sell anyway, as Fremantle lacks variety in shopping.

There is lack of coordination between the major players, and I have the feeling there are a few egos in the way. The City’s marketing people don’t really believe BID is necessary and the Chamber of Commerce is also not a big fan of it, and the major players in town are often left out, so everyone does their own bit, instead of working together on major strategies.

There is an assumption of communication, simply because visitors to Fremantle can access the Fremantle Story on-line or go to different Facebook pages about festivals, etc.

Fact is though that there are many people who do not engage with social media and who can’t be bothered to do long searches to see what is available to them.

Why can’t a visitor to Fremantle, who is staying Tuesday and Wednesday night, find out where live music is on those nights, which pubs have got specials on, etc?

At the Roundhouse we are not supplied with information about events. Many of the volunteer guides don’t live in Fremantle, so they do not know what is going on. It should be a matter of routine that the City’s marketing department emails a list of events, etc. every Monday morning to the Maritime and Shipwreck museums, Fremantle Prison, the Roundhouse, etc. but that is not happening.

Every year we have to contact the City to beg for festival programs, flyers, even a small poster about the Winter, Beer, Chilli festivals, whatever, but it is not forthcoming.

The City of Fremantle does not see tourism as a priority and great opportunity to boost the retail and hospitality industries. If thousands more people come to Freo and stay longer they will shop, eat and drink and support our traders, but BID mainly does cutesy things for locals during school holidays and festivals, which already attract people, instead of being a conduit for all the major players, such as developers, Fishing Boat Harbour, museums, etc.etc. come together, and work on strategies for Freo’s tourism.

The majority of overseas visitors are looking for an indigenous experience, but can’t find it. There is an opportunity here for Fremantle, but we do tokenism better that high impact stuff. There is no big picture thinking on tourism.

We light up the Arthur Head cliff face at night, but close the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm, so there is no direct access from High Street. Why?!

We should have substantial tourist promotion for Fremantle at the airport, in the Perth CBD, and in Kalgoorlie and Esperance for those who drive here, but we preach to the locals mainly.

The Roundhouse volunteers want to improve the displays, but the City is not pro-actively involved in supporting them, and appears quite happy to leave it to the mostly senior amateurs to sort something out, while they could do with good professional advise and financial support.

The City should lobby the Royal Australian Navy and ask them to reconsider putting the planned Sailor monument on the North Mole, and instead put it on Victoria Quay or in Pioneer Park, or even Kings Square, because tens of thousands of visitors to Fremantle will miss out on seeing it. The North Mole is too remote for people who don’t have a vehicle, and riding one’s bike there is a challenge with all the trucks in the area.

The City of Fremantle needs a think tank on tourism, something substantial and outcome based. We have plenty of talkfests and don’t even do those well, because they procrastinate into nothing.

Our traders deserve and demand support, and we need to have a more innovative approach on how we can sell brand Freo, because our promotion is stale, and Fremantle does not get much help from the Perth-centric state tourism promotions.

Many tourists to Fremantle comment on how different we are, and that Perth is just like other big cities, but we do not sell our heritage beauty well, or even our gorgeous High Street that ends up at Bathers Beach.

Fremantle needs creative people who are willing and able to think outside the box, and who don’t do same same every year, time and time again. Fremantle’s marketing is boring, uninspiring and not working!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

HOTELS NEED TO ADAPT TO TOURIST NEEDS

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2017

 

The $ 2 million emergency campaign announced by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia to get more people using Perth hotels is not dealing with the changing demands for tourist accommodation.

The minister wants us to invite friends and family over, but it is not just lower visitors’ numbers that are to blame for the many empty hotel rooms.

Hotel rooms are expensive and not very family friendly, hence the success of Bed&Breakfast accommodation and AirBB.

In Fremantle one can get a 2-3 bedroom house with garden for as low as $ 170 a night. For a family with children that is much better and cheaper than hotel rooms.

People can cook in a B&B and don’t need to go out and buy three meals a day, and the kids can play in the garden.

Many B&B also allow dogs and that is very popular.

What hotel operators need to do is change with the times and offer more serviced apartments, where people can cook their own meals, as the new Fremantle Quest Hotel has.

What is wrong with hotels having some floors with rooms and suites, and other floors with serviced apartments with cooking facilities?

Having a whinge is not the solution, but changing with modern tourist demands is.

Roel Loopers

 

ST PAT’S LONGER SUPPORT FOR WOMEN

Posted in city of fremantle, st patricks, Uncategorized, women by freoview on August 11, 2017

 

A very important message from the St Patrick’s Community Support Centre:

It’s with a mix of optimism and gratitude that we announce that St. Pat’s Sisters’ Place will be transitioning from a short-term accommodation option to a medium-term service for women.

This decision was made in response to the growing need for medium term accommodation for women in the Fremantle area.

In the new service, women will be able to stay in the accommodation for up to 12 months, working with case workers to get their lives back on track.

Emergency, short-term accommodation will be continued to be offered by St. Pat’s Street To Home and Emergency Relief programs.

As Sisters’ Place transitions into its new role, we’d like to thank all the volunteers who have so faithfullly served the community over the last seven years. From all of us here at St. Pat’s, thank you.

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HOMELESSNES A VERY REAL PROBLEM

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, homelessness, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 4, 2017

 

An article in today’s West Australian by Ian Carter, the CEO of Anglicare WA, should be reminder to us all that we need to do more for homeless people. It is a blight on society that in a rich country like Australia thousands of people have to live on the streets.

Ian Carter writes that only one per cent of rental properties in the Perth area are affordable to people on Newstart or on a pension. That is ridiculously low and not acceptable.

Affordable rent is considered to be no more than 30 per cent of income, hence the latest Census shows we have 9592 homeless people and another 7070 are at risk of becoming homeless, as they live in caravan parks and overcrowded accommodation.

The main reasons for becoming homeless, according to Anglicare, are domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental health, financial troubles, and substance use.

The Anglicare CEO writes in the West Australian that social housing should be near transport nodes and accessible to human services and government resources.

It is important not to see homeless people as an unsightly sight on our streets, but as people who deserve and require our compassion and support. I have no doubt we could do a whole lot better if we really tried.

 

Roel Loopers

 

MORE FREMANTLE TOURIST ACCOMMODATION

Posted in accommodation, fremantle, social media, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 24, 2017

The Be. serviced apartments in Fremantle Challenger Harbour are adding more units to the tourist accommodation, so just what Freo needs to attract more visitors and enable them to stay overnight instead of having to commute to Perth.

All the older apartments at Be. have been refurbished recently and are considered to be four and a half star quality accommodation.

They have great views to Bathers Bay and historic Arthur Head or the Fishing Boat Harbour, so keep them in mind when friends are coming over to visit WA.

Roel Loopers

This is a community service, not a paid advertorial! 

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FREMANTLE EAST CBD DEVELOPMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, hotel, housing, tourism by freoview on March 19, 2017

This photo taken from the top of the Fremantle Townhall on Friday has historic significance for Fremantle as the inner east CBD will look very different in a few years from now with major development plans for the area.

In about five years we will see the new Woolstores shopping centre commercial, hotel and student development by Silverleaf, the Point Street Hilton Doubletree hotel project, and the eight-storey residential development of the former Spotlight building, and just beyond that the residential development next to the Hotel Australia at Beach Street.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE QUEST HOTEL NOW OPEN!

Posted in accommodation, economy, fremantle, hospitality, hotel, tourism by freoview on December 13, 2016

pak-4

The Fremantle QUEST serviced apartments hotel in Pakenham Street opened yesterday, so let your visitors know about this new accommodation in the port city.

It is very important for the Fremantle economy to keep visitors here over night, instead of them going to Perth or elsewhere, so the more tourist accommodation the better.

Roel Loopers

WHERE TO HOUSE FREO STAFF DURING KINGS SQUARE PROJECT?

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government by freoview on November 30, 2016

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Relatively new City of Fremantle CEO Phil StJohn will have a few sleepless nights over the next months to come up with ideas and solutions to relocate all city staff during the demolition of the old and the construction of the new civic centre at Kings Square.

Where in Fremantle is there enough office space to accommodate some 450 staff and also the library, or will the library be closed during the development, which will take well over a year?

I doubt there is much vacant office space left in the new Atwell Arcade four-storey office building and no other buildings come to mind that would have enough floor space to accommodate all CoF staff.

There will also have to be a temporary Council Chamber with public access for Council and committees sittings. That could probably be done upstairs at the former Kulcha space, but it does not have disabled access.

The library could be relocated for a year to the Number 1 studio at J Shed but it is a bit out of the way of public transport and does not have sufficient parking.

Maybe the former Woolworth supermarket space in Adelaide Plaza can accommodate a lot of staff. The buildings is owned by Sirona Capital so they would be keen to assist the City.

It won’t be an easy task for the CEO to come up with solutions, so good luck Phil!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE HILTON HOTEL LIMBO

Posted in city of fremantle, development, hospitality, hotel by freoview on October 27, 2016

The start of construction of the Fremantle Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site has been delayed again with Fremantle Council on Wednesday agreeing to extend the contract by one year.

Council approved the sale of the site in December 2012 and the contract required the SKS group who bought the property to commence building within three years of receiving planning approval, however SKS has now advised the City of Fremantle it will not start construction before the second quarter of 2017.

Council does have the option to buy back the property at an estimated value of $ 9.6 million, but what would it do with it then?

The construction delay is because of dewatering issues for the basement of the new building that now has to be redesigned, according to SKS.

What is means is that we will have to live with this ugly eyesore for another year in the centre of the city.

Sirona Capital was also granted a six months extension to finalise its lease negotiations with the WA Government for the Department of Housing to move to Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE ON THE MOVE

Posted in fremantle, hospitality, retail, shopping by freoview on October 10, 2016

quest

 

There is a lot going on in Fremantle in the retail and hospitality sector with a New Orleans style cafe opening in Phillimore Street near Cliff Street and the Stable Hand cafe in Bannister Street.

In Market Street Wassup Dog will start selling gourmet hotdogs where the Freo Kebab shop was, opposite the National Hotel, and ACAI Brothers have opened in High Street west where the newsagent next to the Adam Monk gallery used to be and sell superfoods.

Chemist Warehouse has moved next door in Adelaide Street into the bigger former Dick Smith shop and the Italians are modernising with Galati’s at Wray Avenue changing the shop layout and Romano’s at Lefroy Road doing the same and including a cafe.

If you know of any new shops, cafes, etc. that open in Freo let me know please so I can keep the wider community informed about those positive changes in our city.

Oh, and the QUEST short-term apartment hotel at Pakenham Street has its sign up and will open in six weeks on November 23.

A lot of good changes are happening in Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

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