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Rottnest Island celebrates a century of tourism
A schedule of events and festivities - including special deals, family days and celebratory activities - has been planned across 2011 as Rottnest Island celebrates 100 years of tourism.
Western Australian Tourism Minister Liz Constable announced the celebrtations saying that they will provide a great opportunity to reflect on how tourism on Rottnest had changed over the years, stating "for more than 100 years, Rottnest has been a favourite destination of local and international tourists alike as recreational use began to gain momentum in the early 1900âs with ferries carrying day-trippers to the island from 1902.
"A scheme for transforming the island from a penal settlement to a recreation and holiday island was drawn up in 1907 before the island's tourist officer, officially appointed by the management of the Department of Immigration, Tourism and General Information, began operating in 1911.
"Rottnest Island has a diverse and rich cultural heritage and history."
Minister Constable said that, during the celebrations, it was important to remember the island's early history as a prison which included the incarceration of Aboriginal men and boys, adding "Rottnest Island is now one of Western Australia's most popular holiday and tourist destinations attracting in excess of 500,000 visitors each year but, while recognising how Rottnest has become a favourite holiday destination, it is important to continue the path of reconciliation."
Dr Constable said the celebration of 100 years of tourism on Rottnest was not only about looking back on the past as a new era for tourism on the island was under way.
She concluded "the story of Rottnest Island continues to evolve with the recent announcement of the preferred proponent for the hotel development overlooking Longreach Bay.
"The interest in this development shows that Rottnest Island will continue to be an important and attractive destination for tourists as we look to the next 100 years."
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