New liquor reforms to enhance WA tours

7 September 2016

A new era begins for tourism operators in WA today, as reforms allowing exemptions to liquor licensing come into effect.

The reforms mean that for the first time, tour operators genuinely marketed as a tourism business (eg. Accredited Tourism Business) will be able to include alcohol in their marine or land tour without a liquor licence. The alcohol must be included in the tour price and is limited to five drinks per person, per day.

Accommodation and other tourism premises also have their exemption allowance increased from two to five drinks from today.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall welcomed the changes as a positive first step, but said challenges still existed for operators.

“For the first time, tour operators can include a drink as part of their offering during the start, middle or end of a tour, reducing regulatory costs, improving tourism product and better meeting the expectations of visitors,” he said.

“However, operators need the permission of land managers to apply the exemption on their property. For example, an operator would need the permission of the Department of Parks & Wildlife to apply the exemption in a national park.”

Mr Hall said more reform was now needed to make the State’s liquor regulations more customer friendly.

“Tourism Council WA has been pursuing liquor licensing exemptions for Accredited Tourism Businesses for three years,” he said.

“While it is great to see the first step has been taken with these reforms, more changes are needed to improve the visitor experience in Western Australia.”

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