The WA government will commit an extra $12 million to promote the state globally, including in the key markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Tourism minister Paul Papalia confirmed the extra funding this week in a move “strongly welcomed” by the WA Australian Hotels Association.
The organisation’s CEO, Bradley Woods, described the announcement as “historic” and the largest ever funding boost to Tourism Western Australia’s marketing activities.
“This is fantastic news for Western Australia’s hotels and hospitality industry as it comes on top of a number of other measures being taken to boost visitation such as the pursuit of new direct flight paths into Perth and new partnerships with Tourism Australia,” Mr Woods said.
Mr Woods, who is also a board member of Tourism Australia, said that it was critical that Western Australia positioned itself as a global holiday and conference destination, particularly to Asian markets on the state’s doorstep.
“Today’s announcement will be boosted by the AHA working with the tourism and hotel industry to encourage further investment in marketing campaigns to entice even more visitors to WA.”
“In recent years billions of dollars has been spent building new hotels for the Perth accommodation market which have the potential to provide thousands of new jobs and career opportunities,” he said.
“The state government’s announcement today strongly supports this investment and will lead to jobs growth.”
The 2019-20 funding includes $9 million in new money and $3 million from Tourism WA’s existing budget. It represents more than twice the amount traditionally spent on international marketing each year.
Premier Mark McGowan said it would boost marketing efforts “in countries where we know it will have an immediate impact”.
WA’s international tourism market has for years failed to keep pace with growth across the country.
While latest figures show a one percent increase in overseas visitors for WA in the year to the end of September, international tourist spending in the state fell 7 percent to $2.2 billion as Tasmania recorded a 13 percent increase, Queensland a 12 percent rise and NSW a 9 percent improvement.
Mr Papalia said the extra funds would help ramp up marketing efforts in countries easily accessible to the state, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Malaysia and Singapore are currently WA’s second and third biggest source of overseas visitors behind Britain.
The tourism minister said long-haul destinations including Britain, Germany and the US would also be targeted “to address the declines we’ve seen in the number of working-holidaymakers visiting WA from these markets”.