Byron Visitor Centre duty manager and volunteer co-ordinator Rumi Shimokawa (centre) with membership co-ordinator Melissa Sanders and volunteer Barrie Peters.
Byron Visitor Centre duty manager and volunteer co-ordinator Rumi Shimokawa (centre) with membership co-ordinator Melissa Sanders and volunteer Barrie Peters.

Busy Bay visitor centre needs more volunteers

WITH nearly 220,000 visitors through the doors of the Byron Visitor Centre in 2009-2010, the busy tourist office is in desperate need of more volunteers.

The centre is the busiest visitor centre in NSW outside Sydney and is the only level-one accredited Tourism NSW centre which receives no funding from the government nor the Byron Shire Council.

The centre’s duty manager and volunteer co-ordinator, Rumi Shimokawa, said the centre relied heavily on volunteers.

She said there were only about 10 volunteers, and another 10 were needed.

“The centre is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days, but volunteers work a four-hour shift from either 9am to 1pm or 1pm to 5pm,” she said.

“People can volunteer for as little as one shift a week, but more would be fantastic.

“We are looking for people with a genuine desire to deliver great customer service and maybe even someone who wants to work in the tourist industry.”

Ms Shimokawa said volunteering was a great way to meet new people and to learn new skills. She said volunteers could be young or old, just as long as they were enthusiastic.

Membership co-ordinator Melissa Sanders said the centre provided a top-class service to the community and to national and international visitors.

“I would encourage those businesses who are members of the centre to please support us again and to renew their memberships as this is one of the ways that the centre can raise money to keep going,” she said.

The centre is also funded through commissions from tourist and accommodation bookings.

Barrie Peters has been volunteering at the centre for two months.

“I absolutely love it here, and this week I’m doing three shifts, but that’s because we need more volunteers,” he said.

“I love promoting my town and interacting with a whole range of worldwide tourists.

“I would certainly recommend it to other people.”

If you would like to volunteer, phone the centre on 66808558 or just drop in to the former stationmaster’s cottage, 80 Jonson Street, behind the main bus stop.


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