KI Visitor Information Centre closes temporarily

The Kangaroo Island Visitor Information Centre is temporarily closing down.
The Kangaroo Island Visitor Information Centre is temporarily closing down.

The Kangaroo Island Visitor Information Centre at Penneshaw will temporarily close while more funding is sought. 

Tourism KI chairman Pierre Gregor said the TKI Board last week made the tough decision to agree to a temporary closure starting Sunday, March 24.

Mr Gregor wrote to each TKI member informing them on the decision. 

"Two of our wonderful staff have both been successful in finding other work that provides greater job security on the Island," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, due to our uncertain forward budget, we are not currently able to advertise and fill these vacancies. The Centre cannot be operated without the staff."

Mr Gregor said TKI would be able to advertise the vacant roles within the next one to two months.

In the meantime, the TKI board and employees were working hard to ensure visitors would still be readily able to access a wide range of up-to-date visitor information, he wrote.

TKI board representatives meanwhile with the KI Council during an informal gathering last Thursday where an approach was made to seek up to $150,000 to keep the centre going.

During this and previous presentations, it was pointed that the KI Council was one of the only local governments not to fund a visitor centre, all the more unusual given the Island's reliance on tourism.

The KI Visitor Information Centre or VIC has from some years been operating on a previous allocation of funding from the State Government, but this had now all been spent. 

"This is a work in progress and I am hoping that councillors recognise the important function that the VIC has in the role of visitor servicing," Mr Gregor told The Islander.

KI Mayor Michael Pengilly said it would appear the council cut funding in 2010. 

"The building was built by the State Government and is owned by KI Council," he said. "A lot of work going on looking at how it can be reopened, the cruise ship season is finished for this year but the centre is integral to tourism on the Island."

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