30/01/2015 - 14:44

Tourism Council calls for more marketing money

30/01/2015 - 14:44

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The state government’s strategy to double the value of the tourism industry to $12 billion by 2020 is on track (at $8.3 billion), however, the peak industry body is calling on a higher investment in marketing.

Tourism Council calls for more marketing money
FUTURE PROOFING: Tourism’s value to WA is heading towards $12 billion by 2020. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government’s strategy to double the value of the tourism industry to $12 billion by 2020 is on track (at $8.3 billion), however, the peak industry body is calling on a higher investment in marketing.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the industry needed to capitalise on the fall in the dollar to below US80 cents and invest more in marketing, not just infrastructure.

“This can be a boom time for tourism in Western Australia; more Australians are likely to travel in WA and more international visitors are taking advantage of the low dollar,” he said.

Tourism WA chief executive Stephanie Buckland said the body made annual, ongoing contributions to industry for cooperative marketing campaigns, which were matched by the tourism operators involved.

“We are seeing more coordinated efforts across the state by industry representatives joining together to maximise marketing benefits for their respective regions,” Ms Buckland told Business News.

In the 2013-14 financial year the tourism industry provided $8.21 million of cooperative marketing funds, up from $5.97 million the previous year.

Mr Hall said the government would receive a $30 return on investment for every dollar spent on cooperative campaigns, while it would get $19 for every dollar spent on destination marketing.

This financial year, $41.6 million was budgeted for destination marketing, up from $39.3 million in 2013-14.

At the last election, the state government promised to contribute $24 million over four years for tourism marketing, delivering $13 million to date.

Mr Hall told Business News the funding had so far been released in “dribs and drabs”, however the industry remained hopeful the remaining $11 million would be included in the next budget and rolled out over two years.

He said while it was possible to reach the 2020 goal of $12 billion tourism value, he was not confident it could be done with the current marketing budget.

While infrastructure investments coming online in the coming years would build appeal and capacity, Mr Hall said it was imperative to bring in the demand to meet the new supply.

“The real question is how much the government is also going to invest in marketing to turn on the lights,” he said.

“I’m actually more concerned about the last million that’s spent on marketing, than the $100 million that they spent on infrastructure.” 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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