WA falling behind in international tourism stakes

2 September 2015

Western Australia continues to lose out to other States when it comes to attracting international visitors, with the lowest growth in international visitor spend in the country in the 12 months to June 2015.

The latest figures from the International Visitor Survey reveal that growth in international visitor spend in WA was 1.22% in the year ending June 2015 – the lowest increase in the country and well behind the national increase of 11.48%.

WA also achieved the second lowest increase in the country when it comes to growth in international visitor numbers, at 4.43%, and growth in visitor nights, at 5.39%.

The best performing States were Tasmania at 21.84% for visitor numbers and Northern Territory at 17.54% for visitor nights. This follows increases to tourism Budgets by those States – for example, Northern Territory increased its tourism budget by 13% for 2015-16, compared with a decrease in WA of 1%.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said Western Australia was being outperformed when it came to investment in tourism, resulting in fewer visitors and lower spend.

“Every other State in the country is diversifying its economy and investing heavily in tourism as the economy moves from being focused on resources to services,” Mr Hall said.

“Western Australia is in competition with every other State and destination around Australia when it comes to appealing to visitors from around the world and we must not be left behind or we risk losing visitors to other destinations.”

The figures also reveal a significant decline in the number of international business travellers to Western Australia, with a decline of 9,000 visitors, or 8.4%. This is offset by strong growth in leisure tourism of 8.3% - however, leisure tourism responds to tourism marketing, which is where the State falls behind.

“Fewer international business travellers and large business events are choosing Western Australia as a destination,” Mr Hall said.

“In this year’s State Budget, funding for the Perth Convention Bureau was slashed over the forward estimates – this will result in a further decline in visitor numbers from this high-yield demographic.

“This is bad news for our economy and will mean fewer jobs for the people of WA.”

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