17/07/2019 - 11:23

Domestic tourists on the rise

17/07/2019 - 11:23

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Interstate and intrastate visitors to WA have increased, but international tourists numbers declined slightly, according to the latest data from Tourism Research Australia.

Paul Papalia says international visitor numbers will increase. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Interstate and intrastate visitors to Western Australia have increased, but international tourists numbers declined slightly for the year ending March 2019, according to the latest data from Tourism Research Australia.

WA hosted 1.71 million interstate visitors, compared with 1.47 million in the prior corresponding period.

Spending by these visitors increased from $1.42 billion to $1.73 billion.

Of those visitors, 440,000 came to the state for a holiday, an increase of 11.4 per cent on last year.

Their spending was up by nearly 33 per cent to $739 million, a growth rate higher than all other states and territories.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the growth in interstate tourism was driven by a rebound in leisure visitors, primarily those going to events at Optus Stadium.

“Perth previously had a poor reputation as an expensive destination,” he said.

“Now interstate visitors have been lured back by must-see matches and events at the stadium, particularly the AFL.”

Intrastate holiday trips also increased by 16.3 per cent to 3.6 million, and corresponding spend was up 21.7 per cent to $2.2 billion.

But international visitor numbers fell marginally, from 960,000 to 950,000, with spending declining from $2.2 billion to $2.16 billion.

Visitor spending by those from China, Japan, India, Malaysia, the US and the UK, all recorded decreases for the year.

Spending by those from Germany, Singapore and New Zealand rose for the period.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the state government’s doubling of international marketing spend over the next 12 months was set to turbocharge visitor numbers from key tourist markets.

“The biggest winter of sport in the state's history is being followed by new events like the Western Australian Gourmet Escape and the ATP World Cup, further driving up international and interstate visitor numbers,” he said.

"Re-establishing a marketing office on the east coast and running multimillion dollar campaigns to change the state's reputation has also worked as we are now growing interstate visitors at the fastest rate in the country.”

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