WA tourism gets $12m boost to attract more overseas visitors

The WA Government is spending another $12 million to attract overseas visitors to the state, particularly from the key markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

The 2019-20 funding includes $9 million in new money and $3 million from Tourism WA’s existing budget and is more than double the amount traditionally spent on international marketing each year.

International tourism to WA has been lagging behind other states and territories for several years. While the latest figures showed a one per cent increase in overseas visitors in the year to the end of September, in comparison to a 15 per cent increase in Tasmania and a 6 per cent rise in NSW.

Over the same period, international tourist spending in WA fell 7 per cent to $2.2 billion as Tasmania recorded a 13 per cent increase, Queensland rose 12 per cent and NSW grew 9 per cent.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said Britain, Germany and the US would also be targeted by the additional funding through a promotional push “to address the declines we’ve seen in the number of working-holidaymakers visiting WA from these markets”.

Australian Hotels Association WA CEO, Bradley Woods said it was the largest ever funding boost to Tourism Western Australia’s marketing activities.

“This is fantastic news for Western Australia’s hotels and hospitality industry as it comes on top of a number of other measures being taken to boost visitation such as the pursuit of new direct flight paths into Perth and new partnerships with Tourism Australia,” Woods said.

“Today’s announcement will be boosted by the AHA working with the tourism and hotel industry to encourage further investment in marketing campaigns to entice even more visitors to WA.”