Interstate tourism to WA slumps, 2000 jobs lost

16 September 2015

Western Australia has suffered a disappointing slide in the number of interstate visitors travelling to the State – the only State to suffer a decline in interstate tourist numbers.

Statistics from the latest National Visitor Survey show interstate visitation to WA declined 2.1 per cent in 2014-15, leading to a whopping 21 per cent decrease in visitor expenditure.

“Over the past twelve months, we’ve lost $324 million tourism dollars from interstate tourists – that equates to around 2,150 jobs lost from the State economy,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

This huge plunge in expenditure was driven by a 31 per cent drop in interstate leisure visitors to WA.

Mr Hall said Western Australia was now paying the price for putting all its eggs in the mining basket.

“Western Australia has underinvested in tourism and our State market share and interstate visitor numbers have declined accordingly,” Mr Hall said.

“State Government funding for Tourism WA has been unpredictable and insufficient to retain our interstate visitors.

“Other States are enjoying a tourism boom off the back of the low Australian dollar, while WA is floundering.”

However, the figures reveal local tourism is booming, with intrastate visitor numbers jumping almost 15 per cent and expenditure increasing by 18.1 per cent.

“Western Australians clearly know what a great place this State is for a holiday – the problem is, we’ve stopped spreading that message across the rest of Australia and less interstate travellers are visiting our wonderful State as a result,” Mr Hall said.

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