Figures show interstate tourists shun WA
■ The number of interstate tourists visiting WA has plunged in the past year, with tourism leaders suggesting the State is “paying the price for putting all its eggs in the mining basket”.
Figures released last week show a 30.7 per cent fall in the number of interstate visitors holidaying in WA in the year to June. They also show a 21 per cent fall in interstate visitor spending over the same period.
Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the dramatic fall meant $324 million less tourism dollars in the WA economy — the equivalent of 2150 jobs.
“WA has under-invested in tourism and our State market share and interstate visitor numbers have declined accordingly,” he said.
“State Government funding for Tourism WA has been unpredictable and insufficient to retain our interstate visitors.
“Other States are enjoying a tourism boom off the back of the low Australian dollar, while WA is floundering.”
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the Government had committed an extra $24 million to tourism over four years and spent more on tourism as a percentage of the total State Budget than NSW and Queensland.
“Tourism WA is constantly researching what markets are performing best and why, so the marketing budget can be targeted accordingly,” Dr Hames said.
“It’s also why we have a wide spread of markets including interstate, South-East Asia, the UK and Germany. If one market is down, often another will be up.”
The figures show that despite the fall in interstate tourists, overall interstate visitors are down just 2.1 per cent.
Intrastate numbers continue to power along, up 14.9 per cent over the year.
Tourism WA chief executive Stephanie Buckland said new strategies were being looked at.