Tour shop taking a different pathway

Cecilia AllenManjimup-Bridgetown Times

After more than a decade, Pemberton Discovery Centre will be closing its shop front to focus on tours and camping hire.

Toni and Graeme Dearle began tours 17 years ago with 12 of those being run from a shop location, with the first premises being part of the old hardware store and the second, a purpose-built building opposite the sports club.

“The shop concept came about from our travels to small tourist towns, for example Exmouth, where you could buy a tour from a tour desk,” Mrs Dearle said.

“We wanted to sell our tours directly to people that come to town but what I’m finding now is people are booking online prior to their arrival.

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“More of our business is online and quite often people see us as another visitors centre, which was never our intention.”

Although the shop front will be closing, Mr and Mrs Dearle will continue their tours, including the certified Advanced Ecotourism Accredited eco tours to the Yeagarup Dunes and Black Point.

Mrs Dearle said it was “very sad” to be closing the shop front but she would be looking forward to working on and promoting the tours and WA Wilderness Camping – a partnership with the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

“We’re trying to create tours and experiences for the locals as well so they can be proud of the area they live in,” she said.

“The Yeagerup hut is something that locals may not know about and that’s something I’d also like to work on.”

Mrs Dearle said the shop would close on January 14 and until then there would be 20 per cent off everything in store.

“Ideally we would like to find someone to lease the building and mini golf,” she said.

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