Western Australia is increasingly appearing on the radar for international visitors, with growth in overseas tourists visiting WA outpacing the national rate.
New visitor data released overnight by Tourism WA showed the number of international tourists arriving in WA was up 12.4 per cent in 2016, while the national rate was 11.2 per cent.
Those figures included a 23.7 per cent rise in leisure tourists, while those visiting for educational purposes grew by 15.6 per cent in WA, the data said.
“Recent international visitor figures have seen Western Australia seriously lagging behind the other states as the rest of Australia enjoyed and Asian travel boom, influenced by the comparatively low Australian dollar,” Mr Hall said.
“WA is now starting to take advantage of this Asian travel boom through the hard work of industry to invest in international marketing activities.”
Mr Hall said the state could be poised for more visitor growth too, with the incoming Labor state government committing $85 million per year for tourism marketing and events.
He said WA’s top international markets were the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and the USA, with Malaysia the standout with 32 per cent growth in visitor numbers.
“Asian engagement is critical as there is untapped potential to increase visitors to WA from the region,” Mr Woods said.
“Right now, the west only receives around 4 per cent of Chinese holiday-makers who come to Australia – there’s a lot more room to improve.”