AG Report Shows Urgent Reform Needed to Stop $800m Tourism Shortfall

30 November 2017

Tourism Council WA is calling on the State Government to reform the executive management of Tourism WA in the wake of the Auditor General’s Report into the WA State Government Strategy for Tourism 2020, tabled in Parliament today.

The Audit Report reveals significant failings in State Government’s marketing strategy to increase tourism and create jobs, finding tourism markets had declined or underperformed and the State would fall short of the strategy target by $800 million per annum by 2020.  

The Report noted that the excessive turnover in executive positions had undermined marketing strategy and the current model lacked the commercial expertise to compete in tourism markets against other States.

“Western Australia cannot afford an $800 million per annum tourism shortfall, which amounts to 10,000 jobs foregone,” said Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall.

Mr Hall said the State Government had already addressed some of the issues in the Report but needed to drive further departmental reform to bring in the expertise required to increase tourism and create jobs.

“The CEO of Tourism WA has no tourism marketing expertise, and the top tourism marketing role has been undertaken by seven people in seven years. The position has still not been permanently filled,” he said.

“The old model of appointing generalist senior public servants to executive roles which require specialist tourism marketing expertise has failed.”

Mr Hall called on the State Government to give the Tourism WA Board of Commissioners the authority to directly appoint an experienced tourism marketing professional as CEO and fill the top marketing role as soon as possible.

“The current Tourism WA Board, which commenced on July 1, has the expertise to develop and deliver a new strategy. However, we need tourism expertise within the executive to deliver on any such strategy,” he said.

“Giving the Board the ability to appoint new leadership will enable the delivery of tourism growth and job creation.”

Mr Hall said the tourism industry strongly supported the Auditor General’s recommendations and would work with government to create a more commercially-focused marketing organisation able to respond in agile and adaptive ways to changing market conditions.

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For media enquiries please contact Tourism Council WA Corporate Affairs Manager Leslee Hall lhall@tourismcouncilwa.com.au / 0439 874 992