09/08/2016 - 12:06

New measures to boost WA tourism

09/08/2016 - 12:06

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The state government has unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at boosting tourism in Western Australia, including changes to cruise ship gambling rules and a $7.2 million promotion deal with Qantas.

The state government has unveiled a number of initiatives aimed at boosting tourism in Western Australia, including changes to cruise ship gambling rules and a $7.2 million promotion deal with Qantas.

Premier Colin Barnett, who took over the tourism portfolio in April, announced the lifting of restrictions which enforced gaming floors on cruise ships be closed when travelling between WA ports or within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

“The number of cruise ships coming to Fremantle has more than tripled since 2012-13, when 17 ships brought 49,000 passengers to the port city,” Mr Barnett said.

“In 2015-16, 58 ships berthed at Fremantle with 152,000 passengers.

“Lifting these gaming restrictions will make the state more attractive as a destination for cruise companies, which generate more than $275 million for the local economy.”

Gaming Minister Colin Holt said an existing provision that it must be a scheduled deepwater cruise would still apply along with a new provision that gaming on a ship must be an ancillary service, meaning ‘casino cruises’ would remain banned.

The state government has also made changes to liquor control regulations, in order to exempt a tourism business from requiring a liquor licence to supply alcohol to customers while providing a tourism service.

Mr Holt said the changes to the regulations would reduce red tape and improve conditions in which the tourism industry operated.

Also announced today was a new partnership between Qantas and Tourism WA to jointly promote travel to WA both domestically and internationally, under a $7.2 million deal.

The three-year agreement is expected to attract visitors from key tourism markets including New Zealand, the USA, Singapore and wider Australia.

Mr Barnett said the deal would also encourage travel to Broome, Exmouth and other regional destinations.

The partnership will include campaigns in the key international markets including advertising and special airfares and promotions around major events and activities, with a strong focus to be placed on digital platforms including social media.

Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said the airline was pleased to help promote WA on the global stage.

“With a lower dollar, Australia is an even bigger drawcard for international visitors because of the value it offers,” he said.

“We know a lot of overseas visitors will fly to two or sometimes three destinations when they come to Australia, so part of this campaign will target people who may be landing on the east coast to make the journey west as part of their stay.”

The partnership follows a similar agreement with the state’s tourism body which began in 2013.

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