Western Australia has gone from serial wooden spooner to star tourism performer nationally, recording a 22 percent rise in interstate visitor spending to $1.7 billion for the year to March.
National Visitor Survey results released this week show a 16 percent rise in interstate visitors to WA, a trend partly attributable, according to the state’s Tourism Council chief Evan Hall, to a switch away from “fluffy” tourism marketing.“Tourism WA has switched from showing fluffy television ads on the east coast to focusing on selling good value airline deals, accommodation and tours offered by the tourism industry,” Mr Hall said.
“Focusing on real bookings, rather than brand advertising, has strong support from the tourism industry.”
Mr Hall said the growth in interstate tourism has been led by significant state investment in marketing and events.
“The state government’s investment in the stadium major events and more effective interstate marketing is definitely paying off with increased tourism dollars creating jobs in WA,” he said.
“Perth previously had a poor reputation as an expensive destination. Now interstate visitors have been lured back by must-see matches and events at the stadium, particularly the AFL.
“East coast spectators are having a great time in WA and are telling friends back home that Perth is a new city and worth a visit.”
The new National Visitor Survey data shows domestic overnight travel continues to perform well Australia-wide, with spend reaching $74.5 billion during the year ending March 2019.
The number of domestic overnight trips grew to 109 million, with visitors spending a total of 386 million nights away from home while travelling around the country.
The Gold Coast was another star performer, recording a 17 percent rise in domestic overnight visitors to a record four million in the year to March.
The new highs led to record-breaking spend, with overnight expenditure growing by 22.6 percent to top $3.6 billion for the year.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said visitors who delayed their holidays in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games a year ago had returned in great numbers.
“We had a quieter March quarter in 2018, so it’s thoroughly encouraging to see overnight visitors inspired to take winter breaks in our slice of paradise last year,” she said.
“Over the last three consecutive quarters we have seen domestic overnight expenditure reach record levels, which is important because it tells us that our key strategy – to maintain and grow the Gold Coast’s domestic market share – is resonating with our target markets.
“Along with our industry partners and the Queensland government, Destination Gold Coast has invested more than $5 million in marketing this year alone, to entice families to come and play on the Gold Coast.”