WA growing, but missing out on Asian boom

6 December 2016

Western Australia has continued to lose out in the international tourism boom, lagging behind other States when it comes to attracting international visitors, new figures reveal.

The latest figures from the International Visitor Survey show that the number of international visitors to Western Australia grew by 8.2 per cent in the 12 months to September 2016. However, the increase remains the second lowest of any State or Territory, well behind Tasmania (14.8%), New South Wales (12.6%) and the national increase (11.5%).

“Every quarter, Western Australia continues its trend of lagging behind almost all other Australian States and Territories, losing market share to other destinations,” said Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall.

“While WA focused on the resources boom, the rest of Australia was investing in an Asian travel boom.

“With a comparatively low Australian dollar, now is a prime time for Western Australia to take advantage of the international tourism boom, but instead we stay at the back of the pack.”

The primary source of international visitation to WA was leisure visitors, which increased by 19.6% in the year ending September 2016.

“While it is positive to see an increase in the number of holiday makers to WA, we need to do better to replace the lost business travellers who are no longer coming here,” Mr Hall said.

Mr Hall said Tourism Council WA was calling for the State Government to invest an additional $20 million per annum for destination marketing and events so WA can get its share of the international tourism boom.

“It is important to remember that Western Australia is in competition with every other Australian destination. While other States invest heavily in tourism and enjoy a boom due to the low Australian dollar, Western Australia loses out due to lack of investment.”        

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