SW tourism spend de­cline

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately and Emily Ace

WA’s South West has fared bet­ter than other parts of the State, but op­er­a­tors and politi­cians are call­ing for ur­gent ac­tion to ad­dress a down­turn in in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor num­bers.

Over­all, the South West recorded 7000 ex­tra in­ter­na­tional tourists in the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year, to­talling 179,000 visi­tors, but the spend dipped 12 per cent, ac­cord­ing to Tourism Re­search Aus­tralia fig­ures.

Vasse MLA and shadow tourism min­is­ter Libby Met­tam said WA con­tin­ued to languish be­hind other States. “The tourism sec­tor can­not sus­tain th­ese losses,” Ms Met­tam said.

“Pre­mier Mark Mc­Gowan must act im­me­di­ately be­fore more small op­er­a­tors are squeezed out of the busi­ness.

Tourism Coun­cil of WA boss Evan Hall said in­ter­na­tional visi­tors to WA fell 1.8 per cent, while ex­pen­di­ture de­creased 9.9 per cent or $248 mil­lion.

He said the TCWA wanted “de­ci­sive ac­tion” to com­bat the de­cline.

Aus­tralia’s South West chief ex­ec­u­tive Ca­trin All­sop said Tourism WA’s $2 mil­lion Road Trips Cam­paign tar­get­ing key do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets would help ad­dress the drop.

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