23/10/2007 - 22:00

Intrastate tourism bounce

23/10/2007 - 22:00

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Western Australia’s tourism market picked up strongly in 2006 with an overall increase in visitors numbers and a combined spending surge of $5 billion breaking the all-time record.

Intrastate tourism bounce

Western Australia’s tourism market picked up strongly in 2006 with an overall increase in visitors numbers and a combined spending surge of $5 billion breaking the all-time record.

Most of WA’s key markets have grown above the national average in the past year. Western Australians made a total of 5.3 million intrastate trips, 1.3 million visitors from other states came to WA, facilitated by low cost airlines, while 644,300 international visitors arrived in WA.

After substantial declines in 2005, 2006 was a year of recovery for the local intrastate market.

The stabilisation of fuel prices during the year, coupled with a decrease in numbers of Western Australians going overseas, are suggested to have been the major drivers of this recovery.

The intrastate market continues to make up around three-quarters of total visitor numbers in WA.

In 2006, the biggest domestic visitor number increase was recorded in the north west, with a 16.5 per cent surge.

The most visited tourism region by combined domestic visitors was Perth, followed by the South West and the ‘golden outback’.

The interstate market now makes up 18 per cent of total visitor numbers to WA and 28 per cent of total spend by visitors to WA. Almost two thirds of interstate visitors to WA were from New South Wales or Victoria.

International visitors to WA spent on average $82 per day during their stay, with total international visitor expenditure reaching $1.5 billion in 2006. The UK is still by far WA’s largest international market, with 171,000 visitors in 2006.

There has been a strong growth of visitors from Singapore, due in part to the start of Tiger Airways services between Perth and Singapore in March 2007.

This service has added an extra 1,260 seats a week on this route.

The growing number of interstate travellers to WA, particularly business travellers, has prompted Qantas to introduce wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft for all of its services from Perth to Sydney and Melbourne within the next two years.

The new aircraft will add 11,700 seats on these services, with an additional 5,000 intrastate seats coming on line by June 2008.

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