Council seeking $27m more to promote WA

Western Australia has the second lowest government investment in tourism in the nation, according to the WA Tourism Council which is demanding an extra $27 million

a year to market struggling regional areas.

The WA Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said “There’s more to our economy than digging holes in the ground. It is time for the WA government to make tourism and events a state priority.”

The council has made a detailed submission to tourism minister Kim Hames, outlining the need for extra spending.

According to the council’s assessment, the state government spent about 0.18 % of its revenue on tourism marketing – only NSW at 0.16 % was lower.

“The government needs to invest in tourism so there is more than mining going on in tomorrow’s economy,” Mr Hall said. “While tourism towns are suffering, it’s hard to understand why the WA government won’t invest in the industry at the same level as other states.

“The government has done a great job investing in China tourism, which is growing rapidly. This model should now be extended to our other international and interstate markets.”

The Australian Hotels Association (Western Australia) has backed the call for an additional $27 million a year. to market WA’s struggling tourism regions.

AHA (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods, said the state government needed to increase its spending for marketing the Western Australian tourism industry in the next budget in the face of increasing competition for leisure travellers from the eastern states and countries such as New Zealand.

“If this substantial investment in marketing our state brand, Experience Extraordinary, is not made now, then we will continue to fall behind the other states and other countries which clearly understand the value of the tourism and hospitality industry.

“The state government has to make promoting our WA brand a priority in the upcoming budget. The tourism industry is vital for a significant number of people in regional WA and Perth, with tourists spending over $8 billion in our local economy,” said Mr Woods.

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