09/01/2019 - 15:34

International tourist spending in WA falls

09/01/2019 - 15:34

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The tourism industry has called for the establishment of a growth fund following the release of data showing a 7 per cent fall in spending by international tourists in Western Australia during the past year.

International tourist spending in WA falls
International visitor spend in WA is $166 million less than it was a year ago.

The tourism industry has called for the establishment of a growth fund following the release of data showing a 7 per cent fall in spending by international tourists in Western Australia during the past year.

The latest tourism data by Austrade today showed spending by international visitors in WA for the year ending September 2018 was $2.2 billion, $166 million less than for the previous corresponding period.

The Austrade figures showed 955,000 international visitors travelled to WA in the year ending September 2018, up 1 per cent on the previous period.

Tasmania recorded the best figures, with a 13 per cent increase in international visitor spend, while Queensland rose 12 per cent and NSW grew 9 per cent.

The Tourism Council of WA called on the state government to compete with other states by establishing a tourism jobs growth fund.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the results meant more jobs would disappear in retail, hospitality, transport and other tourism industries as international visitor spending declined.

“The decline follows a $181 million decrease in out-of-state visitor expenditure in 2017-18, while other states grew their tourism industries,” he said.

“As a result of this spending decrease, more than 1,200 jobs were lost across WA in 2017-18.

“Other states are investing significant funds in destination marketing, major events and aviation development to further boost their enormous tourism jobs growth.”

Shadow tourism minister Libby Mettam said the government had broken its election promise to ensure that tourism was priority.

“The reality is that tourism funding under Labor has decreased in real terms after inflation over the last two budgets and will decline by 2.4 per cent by 2020-21,” she said.

Despite the Austrade numbers, Tourism WA managing director Brodie Carr was optimistic about the future of the state’s tourism industry.

“While there is more work to be done with continuing to grow international visitor numbers, initiatives such as the recently announced Tokyo to Perth direct flights deal, mean we are well-placed to strengthen our position,” Mr Carr said.

“This year visitors can choose from a fantastic program of major sporting events at Optus Stadium, with three of Tourism Australia’s international travel trade events also to be held in Perth.”

 

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