Gem of an idea for tourism in Portland

Published in The Standard, March 6, 2013

Portland Cable Trams members met with Glenelg Shire councillors last week to share ideas in a bid to boost the number of tourists to the city.

Portland Trams manager Alan Rees said the shire needed a concerted advertising effort from all the local tourism bodies.

“We are very appreciative that the mayor and councillors met with us last week and the presentation went very well,” he said.

“It was an opportunity for us to share our ideas and information with the council and let them know what we thought needed to be done to increase tourists to Portland.”

Some of the organisation’s ideas included more advertising and signage on highways.

This year, Portland Cable Trams celebrates its 11th year of operation.

The scenic track connects visitors with local attractions including the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, Botanical Gardens and Vintage Car Museum.

“It’s unique really. There is no other organisation in Australia that runs a similar type of tram car to us,” Mr Rees said.

“Visitors love the views and in all the years I’ve been with Portland trams I have never seen or heard a negative comment from travellers.”

Glenelg Shire Council mayor Karen Stephens said Portland Cable Trams had made an “outstanding” contribution to tourism in the region and encouraged both visitors and residents to support the local attraction.

She particularly encouraged people to visit Portland Cable Trams’ gemstone collection, which is said to be the largest in Australia. Two men travelled throughout outback Australia collecting stones and making them into gems.

One of the collector’s sons donated them to the local attraction in 2011.

The tram operates every day of the week between 10am and 3pm in winter and until 4pm in summer.

Portland Cable Trams has about 70 members, of which 30 are active volunteers.

Categories: news, travelTags: , , , , ,

Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.

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