WA lags in international visitors, spend

2 March 2016

Western Australia continues to lag behind other States in the international tourism stakes, recording the lowest growth in international visitor numbers in the country and a fall in international visitor spend in 2015.

The latest figures from the International Visitor Survey reveal that the number of international visitors to Western Australia grew by 2.68 per cent last year. However, this was the lowest increase of any State and below the national increase of 7.89 per cent.

The figures also show spending by international visitors to Western Australia fell by 4.72 per cent in 2015, while expenditure in most States grew by upwards of 18 per cent.

“Visitor spending is down because our hotels and hospitality have become much cheaper. This makes WA more competitive, but we’ve got to turn this into a major increase in visitor numbers,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

"Now is the time for the government to boost investment in promoting WA as an affordable destination.”

Mr Hall said Western Australia needed to move faster in its transition away from resources towards service industries such as tourism. He said every State in the country was diversifying its economy and investing heavily in tourism.

“For example, the Queensland government has increased its tourism funding, with funding delivered at consistent levels over time to ramp up tourism as the global economy changes,” he said.

“Western Australia is in competition with every other Australian destination. Other States are enjoying a tourism boom due to the low Australian dollar – however WA is lagging behind.”

- Ends -