Fig­ures show in­ter­state tourists shun WA

Pilbara News - - News - Kent Acott

■ 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.

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