Prices hamper tourism
What’s holding back WA tourism?
Too much emphasis on Perth, frustratingly expensive internal flights and a shortage of quality accommodation drawcards in the regions.
We can’t really be surprised the latest data shows the number of West Australians holidaying in their own State was down nearly 10 per cent over the past year.
It is not just that we’re more cautious about our spending given the weak economy.
Surely it is also that expectations are higher.
West Australians are increasingly reluctant to fork out the comparatively high prices too often demanded for what is tired regional holiday accommodation.
The criticism isn’t just limited to the locals.
Tourism WA’s polling shows the number of visitors ranking the State as poor value for money last financial year jumped from 12 per cent to 17 per cent.
Much of the negative feedback came from international tourists — yes, probably from countries without Australia’s high labour and living costs — disappointed in the prices charged for accommodation, food and drink.
Unfortunately, most of these visitors barely see much of WA beyond the limited attractions of Perth.
The biggest drawcard for inbound visitors is in the State’s natural attractions — the beaches, the national parks, and, usually, the weather.
And international visitors who are reluctant to drive long distances to see regional WA sights also baulk at paying the exorbitant airfares.