14/08/2019 - 12:34

Tourism Council puts reality check on jobs data

14/08/2019 - 12:34

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Tourism Council WA has put a damper on Tourism Minister Paul Papalia's positive take on new data showing a record number of jobs in the sector, pointing out that growth in tourism jobs in WA was the lowest of any state or territory.

Tourism Council puts reality check on jobs data
Mr Hall said the state government should be aiming to create 6,000 new tourism jobs per annum. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Tourism Council WA has put a damper on Tourism Minister Paul Papalia's positive take on new data showing a record number of jobs in the sector, pointing out that growth in tourism jobs in Western Australia was the lowest of any state or territory.

Citing data from the 2017-18 State Tourism Satellite Account, Mr Papalia said the state had achieved its highest number of tourism industry jobs on record, with 108,800 people employed in the state's tourism industry.

That was an increase of 2,000 jobs on the previous period.

"This positive trend is supported by the outstanding results of our recent visitor surveys, showing our state is hitting the mark with out-of-state visitors, attracting more people who are spending more money, which supports our local tourism industry," Mr Papalia said.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall disputed that the results were positive, and argued that if WA tourism had grown at the national rate of 5.3 per cent, an additional 3,700 jobs would have been created in the state.

WA's tourism jobs growth was 1.8 per cent for 2017-18.

“WA’s falling market share in international tourism is the main barrier to growing tourism jobs for local people," Mr Hall said.

“The state government has committed additional funding to boost international marketing and attract more international visitors, and this should soon begin to bear fruit.

“The state government should aim to grow tourism jobs at the same rate as the rest of Australia and commit to a target of 6,000 new tourism jobs per annum.”

The Australian Tourism Industry Council made similar observations on Tuesday, when it said that WA's tourism growth did not reflect the record breaking growth experienced by most other states.

“Behind the hoopla of continued record growth in Australian tourism, pockets of our country are not feeling the full benefit or glow," ATIC executive director Simon Westaway said.

"Industry in WA and the Northern Territory, which offer a compelling backdrop to the true Australian visitor experience, recorded declines in domestic visitor consumption and lower growth last year which industry is working hard to address."

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