26/10/2011 - 13:00

Hames unveils hotel development incentives

26/10/2011 - 13:00

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CATALYST: The Tourism Council is hoping the state government's new commitment will result in more hotel developments in the near future.

The state government has launched a major initiative aimed at tackling the lack of hotel investment and development in Western Australia, including the release of Crown land and lease incentives.

Tourism Minister Kim Hames unveiled a raft of incentives endorsed by the state government today, including the release of Crown land for hotel developments, and longer-term Crown leases for short-stay accommodation developments.

Other incentives include; Concessional lease payments to promote hotel developments on Crown land; discount Crown land values for hotel developments; peppercorn lease agreements for new hotels; and funds to be set aside for the provision of infrastructure upgrades to facilitate hotel development.

“Despite a significant and sustained increase in occupancy and room rates, there has been minimal hotel investment in Perth and parts of regional WA since 2006,” Dr Hames said.

“The severe shortage of hotel rooms in Perth, in particular, negatively impacts WA’s ability to successfully attract corporate and leisure visitors, major conferences and events, increase aviation capacity and disperse travelers throughout the state.”

Dr Hames said Tourism Western Australia was currently undertaking a review of hotel supply and demand and an incentives steering group would be formed to oversee the process.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the new policy would encourage and facilitate the development of new hotels.

“The tourism industry has been pushing for this new approach that will encourage hotel investment within WA through a number of State Government endorsed incentives” Mr Hall said.

“Our hotel shortage is killing regional tourism because visitors can’t get a room in Perth on their way to Monkey Mia, Margret River or Kalgoorlie.”

But Mr Hall said federal government support would be necessary to support tourism investment.

“The Federal Government should provide tax bonuses and accelerated depreciation to support investment in tourism.”

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