Prices ham­per tourism

Albany Advertiser - - OPINION -

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.

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