Kalgoorlie Miner - - FRONT PAGE - Tom Zaun­mayr

Tourism in WA is boom­ing and, when it comes to in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, Aus­tralia’s Golden Out­back is lead­ing the charge. A $200 mil­lion wind­fall in na­tional and in­ter­na­tional tourist money be­ing spent in the re­gion has lo­cal tour op­er­a­tors sing­ing. Syd­ney’s Annie Henry, Sue-Kellee Will­mott and An­gel­ica Steng were among those on a full bus head­ing to the Su­per Pit yes­ter­day.

As an­other bus load of tourists heads off to see Kalgoorlie-Boul­der’s Su­per Pit, Wes Mur­ray can’t help but smile.

Mr Mur­ray, the owner of Kalgoorlie Tours and Char­ters, has every rea­son to feel good; do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourists are flock­ing to the Golden Out­back in record num­bers on the back of the State Gov­ern­ment’s Road­trip State cam­paign.

Tourism Re­search Aus­tralia’s lat­est snap­shot re­vealed a 40 per cent rise in the num­ber of for­eign­ers vis­it­ing our re­gion in the year to June.

It was by far the big­gest rise in the State, and was ac­com­pa­nied by a 23.1 per cent boost in in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor spend.

“We are ab­so­lutely flat out,” Mr Mur­ray said. “We are do­ing backto-back tours, as one leaves we have an­other re­turn­ing.”

Do­mes­tic vis­i­ta­tion was up 7.6 per cent too, ac­com­pa­nied by a 41 per cent in­crease in spend­ing to $678 mil­lion.

Syd­neysider Sue-Kellee Wil­mott was on the bus depart­ing for the Su­per Pit yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“I’m in a group called the rolling so­los,” she said. “It’s a group of sin­gle women with our own mo­torhomes and campers who do one big trip each year.

“This year a lot of us are trav­el­ling from all over Aus­tralia to Exmouth.

“We’ve heard about Kalgoorlie and ... thought the Su­per Pit tour was some­thing not to be missed.”

Ms Wil­mott said the Road­trip State cam­paign was fit­ting for WA.

Tourism Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia said the data proved the WA Gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts were pay­ing off.

“Not only are the hol­i­day num­bers and spend the high­est on record in WA, for in­ter­na­tional and na­tional vis­i­tors, but we are show­ing the high­est in­ter­na­tional hol­i­day vis­i­tor growth of all the Aus­tralian States and Ter­ri­to­ries - and that’s some­thing to be very proud of,” he said.

“While these re­sults are fan­tas­tic, we will not be slow­ing down our ef­forts to at­tract more peo­ple to WA.

“I’m con­fi­dent that with our re­cent $12 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing boost, bumper year of events, new di­rect flights and on­go­ing in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, we will con­tinue to see those num­bers rise in fu­ture.”

Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Bradley Woods said cam­paign mar­ket­ing was work­ing.

Mr Woods said the suc­cess was the cul­mi­na­tion of work by in­dus­try, Tourism WA and Tourism Aus­tralia over the past two years.

Pic­ture: Kelsey Reid

Pic: Kelsey Reid

Stu­art and Loretta Chance, from Phillip Is­land, were among the many tourists in town re­cently.

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