Western Australia had the lowest level of investment in new tourism accommodation and attractions of any State in 2022-23, according to a report by Tourism Research Australia.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said Western Australia was currently experiencing a shortage of tourism accommodation, particularly in regional areas.
“We have major shortages of tourist accommodation in regional WA, which is pushing out tourists to other States which are investing in new accommodation,” he said.
“Many regional towns are at capacity and are turning away tourists and, in turn, the jobs that they create. Western Australia’s stock of regional accommodation is ageing, and we’ve had very little new investment over the past two decades.”
Hall said WA only had $1.4 billion in the investment pipeline for the arts, recreations, and other attractions, compared with $8.5 billion in Queensland, and which was even less than States such as Tasmania were investing.
“Not only is Western Australia not investing in new natural and cultural attractions like other States are, but we are also seeing existing public attractions in National Parks close down,” he said.
“We’ve seen a lot of attractions shut down recently such as Penguin Island Discovery Centre and the Gloucester Tree.”
Hall said the tourism industry wanted to create new experiences but kept being knocked back due to excessive red tape in the approval process.
“We would like to see tourism investment included in a streamlined investment process through the Office of the Coordinator General, as announced by the Premier in December 2023,” he said.
He also said WA needed to invest in new accommodation that not only created more space for Western Australians and tourists, but also brought greater staff housing capacity, and greater energy efficiency and sustainability.