Events support to boost WA regional tourism recovery

Western Australia’s regional tourism industry has been given a boost with the McGowan Government supporting over 70 regional events around the State with $1 million funding.

The Regional Events Scheme will help develop smaller and emerging events into tourist attractions in country areas.

The funding support follows the State Government’s moves this week to lift regional borders – with most regional boundaries to be lifted from Friday, May 29, and the Kimberley region to follow from June 5. Aboriginal communities will remain closed to visitors.

The 77 events supported by the Regional Events Scheme will help kick start regional tourism into its recovery phase.

Events awarded funding for the first time through the scheme this year include Bunbury Fringe 2021 (South-West), Get Hooked Fishing Festival (Wheatbelt) and the South Festival (Pilbara).

Seven events were awarded funding under the Regional Aboriginal Events Scheme, to showcase Aboriginal activities and experiences, and encourage Aboriginal leadership and participation.

Due to potential future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, successful funding applicants for the 2020-2021 Scheme have been given the option of holding their event at any time up until December 31,2021.

“Regional tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19 – but we now have the opportunity to capitalise on a local tourism boom with thousands of Western Australians set to holiday at home this year,” said Tourism Minister Paul Papalia.

“Ordinarily Western Australians make about two million interstate and international holiday trips a year, and we expect many of those travellers will instead explore their backyard instead this year.

“Events give people a reason to head out to a particular destination – where they will often find accommodation locally, spend at local businesses and explore the surrounding area.

“The Regional Events Scheme will help kick start tourism around the State and give our small businesses the shot in the arm they need right now.”