A SUPER PLACE TO BE
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.
Stuart and Loretta Chance, from Phillip Island, were among the many tourists in town recently.