Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 26 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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FROM TOP Heading up Willie Creek to see the
pearl-growing oysters; the view from the helicopter
over the coast; a staff member displays a pearl shell
at Pearl Luggers; pearl jewellery.
WILLIE CREEK PEARL FARM
Pearl farm near Broome
Winner | Sir David Brand Award for Tourism
At Willie Creek Pearl Farm near Broome, the fantastic tours just get better.
“It’s always about improving the customer experience,” says CEO Tony Maio.
“We want them to have an experience that makes them say ‘wow!’.” This
mind-set led to the company winning the Sir David Brand Award for Tourism,
a gong for outstanding achievement. The company looks for people with
great personalities to become tour guides and trains them well. Up to 60,000
people a year take a tour that includes a boat trip up Willie Creek to see how
the oysters are kept, and, Tony says, “You get to handle hundreds of thousands
of dollars of products, try them on and take photos.” Short helicopter rides
are extra, but popular. The company offers tours of Pearl Luggers (a Broome
exhibit with two restored luggers at a replica jetty) and has retail showrooms
in Broome and Perth. In 2010, the farm’s desalination plant was built and a
$1.6m redevelopment of the Broome showroom was finished. And despite
winning this award in 2006, Tony doesn’t take it for granted: “When you win
something, you want to continue to win.” Visit williecreekpearls.com .au.
The annual WA Tourism Awards showcase the best
operators and the extraordinary range of experiences
and environments to be enjoyed in WA
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