Starring role for Perth TAFE students

North Metropolitan TAFE students have stars in their eyes about the future of astrotourism.

The travel and tourism students have worked with five Astrotourism Towns in regional WA to develop visitor packages.

The packages aim to make the most of WA’s world-class dark night sky, grow local tourism economies, foster collaborative marketing and develop new products to draw more tourists.

This year’s packages were developed across the shires of Dandaragan, Morawa, Shark Bay, Upper Gascoyne and Wickepin.

Students worked with local government teams to generate trip deals such as “Star Trekker”, “Dinner Under the Stars” and “Wildflower Wonders and Celestial Nights”.

They worked in teams of three or four to research stakeholders, markets and local attractions before creating the three-night packages.

They are part of the Dark Sky Tourism Product Development Project, which is an initiative between North Metropolitan TAFE and Astrotourism WA and has been running for four years.

Travel and tourism lecturer Steve Mulholland said working on the project prepared the students for work in the tourism industry.

”The students were working on their projects at the time of the total solar eclipse in Exmouth, on April 20,” he said.

“They were inspired and motivated by the phenomena and although we didn’t get to Exmouth, we all watched it live at Yagan Square.”

Astrotourism WA CEO Carol Redford said WA was perfect for tourism under the stars.

“This is because Perth is the most isolated capital city on a continent in the world and most of our artificial light is concentrated in the small area of Perth,” she said.

“In a world where light pollution has destroyed the view of the stars for millions around the world, WA is sitting pretty for a burgeoning Dark Sky tourism industry.”

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