WA Domestic Tourism Dollars Decline by Half

11 September 2020

Domestic WA tourism declined by $353 million, or 49 per cent, in the 12 months to June 2020, the latest visitor survey results reveal.

Tourism Council WA analysis of Tourism Research Australia’s latest National Visitor Survey results shows the number of domestic visitors declined by 15 per cent, while their spending declined by 49 per cent. 

Domestic tourism includes intrastate and interstate tourism. These figures do not include the additional major loss of international visitors and their spending.

The survey shows average domestic visitor spend has declined from $764 per trip to $456, due to the loss of interstate visitors who spend more on hotels, tours, experiences, and transport. However, WA intrastate visitors were also spending about $218 less per trip. 

Perth was the worst hit part of WA with domestic visitor dollars down 78 per cent, while regional WA was down 30 per cent.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the good news from the survey was that domestic visitor numbers lifted from 443,000 in the year ending May to 797,000 in the year ending June as regional travel restrictions were lifted. However, WA domestic tourism was still down from the 1,095,000 visitors in January 2020 before the impact of COVID-19 and regional and interstate travel restrictions.

“Perth businesses and staff are bearing the brunt of the domestic tourism downturn. Perth event venues, CBD hotels, coach operators and the airport are facing the greatest financial hardship,” Mr Hall said.

“Accommodation and hospitality are booming in many regional areas, but businesses are hamstrung by the lack of workers travelling to regional WA to meet the surge.

“Across WA, tours and experiences are badly impacted by the loss of big spending interstate tourists. Tourism Council WA strongly supports the State Government’s investment in marketing campaigns to encourage locals to work in the regions, take a CBD hotel staycation, and support local tourism operators.

“These are the best measures to sustain local tourism businesses and jobs until border restrictions can be eased and interstate visitors can return.”

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