Tourism Council WA has called for the WA Government to secure more international major events to help reverse the decline in overseas visitors.
The number of international visitors to Western Australia has declined by 78 per cent, with spend down $1.7 billion, in the year ending September 2022 compared with September 2019 figures, according to the latest International Visitor Survey results from Tourism Research Australia.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said while domestic tourism had recovered and grown, the loss of international visitors was still being felt by the tourism industry.
“Western Australians continue to holiday in WA and we’re seeing interstate visitors returning, however the international recovery is taking longer than hoped,” he said.
“The State Government’s Reconnect WA package is a good start; however, it looks like additional funding will be needed over a longer period to recover international tourism.
“Enhancing air route options and capacity into WA will help attract high-spending tourists from countries such as Japan.
“We must fully recover aviation capacity and attract world-class events to ensure WA maintains a healthy share of international visitors.”
Hall said it was critical for WA to attract international workers, particularly backpackers, as well as tourists in 2023.
“The State Government’s top priority should be winning world-class major international events for 2023, 2024 and 2025 to drive international workers and holidaymakers into WA,” he said.