Economic downturn impacts WA tourism


Tourism Council WA’s latest quarterly tourism business survey reveals the industry experienced a 17 per cent decrease in net business activity in the June quarter, the first downturn since the re-opening of Western Australia’s border.

The North West suffered the largest decline in activity in the June quarter due to the Kimberley floods. There has been a major drop off in bookings in the North West for this season and next season.

Business activity varied significantly between regions, with Australia’s Coral Coast operators attributing an increase in activity to the Solar Eclipse event in April. Meanwhile the South West region was negatively affected as fewer Perth residents travelled down for a holiday as a result of economic pressures.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the cost of living and rise in interest rates were catching up to Western Australians and having an impact on their spending habits.

“During the pandemic, Perth residents travelled to regional Western Australia and particularly the South West in large numbers, driving demand for accommodation although attractions struggled from the lack of interstate travel,” Hall said.

“Now we are seeing domestic tourism declining but international travel has not recovered enough to cover the slow down.”

Hall said WA had not been securing international air routes and services from overseas tourism markets as fast as other states.

“Government spending on attracting airlines and major events will be critical to bringing international and interstate travellers to WA as local tourism slows down,” he said.