WA’s $37m tourism push to attract blockbuster events

events

Tourism in Western Australian has been given a $36.6 million boost as the State looks to attract more blockbuster events and interstate visitors.

The State Budget saw an additional $25 million allocated over the next four years to the Major Events Fund.

In addition, the Cook Government will invest $3.6 million for a new Metro Events program, which will focus on creating homegrown events in and around Perth to activate the city for locals and draw in visitors from outside WA.

The State Budget will also include $4.9 million to continue the Tourism Workforce Development Program, which aims to attract workers to the tourism industry, as well as $1 million to boost the State’s cruise tourism program, which seeks to attract more cruise lines to WA and improve industry partnerships.

Other initiatives include $1.6 million to continue biannual stakeholder regional roadshows, extend existing tourism business capability development and continue receiving key tourism data from the Commonwealth, and $500,000 for feasibility studies for new tourism attractions.

“We’ve said we wanted to make Western Australia one of the event capitals of South East Asia and keep building on our reputation as a world-class events destination,” said Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti.

“We continue to deliver on that commitment, having secured major coups over the past year including Coldplay, WWE, Italian and women’s football, UFC and international rugby just to name a few.

“We also know that events are a big drawcard for out-of-state visitors, giving people a time-specific reason to visit and explore WA, which they might not have previously considered doing.

“That’s why providing an extra $25 million for major events is so important for this 2024-25 State Budget. It allows us to continue growing on that success and attracting unique and major blockbusters, which have delivered phenomenal benefits for our local economy, while also attracting visitors from outside WA and supporting local jobs.”

Tourism Council WA said the record $201 million funding for Tourism WA is essential to recover international visitors and attract additional interstate visitors to the State.

“With world-class event facilities in Optus Stadium and RAC Arena, the additional $25 million for major events will be critical to grow tourism and jobs in WA,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

“We need to remain absolutely focused on those key major events that bring in tens of thousands of international and interstate visitors to WA and the thousands of jobs their spending creates.

“Bidding for events is highly competitive between States – this funding will enable WA to secure big, Australian exclusives and to become a dominant event destination in South East Asia.”

The budget also included record funding for destination marketing, which received a $12 million a year increase for two years from the mid-year review in December 2023.

“The increased marketing funding will give us a competitive advantage to get travel agents, tour companies and airlines around the world to bring their customers to Western Australia,” Hall said.