Regional tourism recovery boosted with events support

Western Australia's regional tourism industry has been given a shot in the arm on the road to recovery - with the McGowan Government supporting over 70 regional events around the State with $1 million funding.

From a celebration of wildflowers in Esperance, to star-gazing in the Wheatbelt, the Regional Events Scheme will help develop smaller and emerging events into tourist attractions in country areas.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia confirmed regional tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19 but suggested regional economies now have an opportunity to capitalise on a local tourism boom.

He said: “Ordinarily, Western Australians make about two million interstate and international holiday trips a year, and we expect many of those travellers will instead explore their backyard instead this year.

Events give people a reason to head out to a particular destination – where they will often find accommodation locally, spend at local businesses and explore the surrounding area.

“The Regional Events Scheme will help kick start tourism around the State and give our small businesses the shot in the arm they need right now.”

Key takeaways from the annoucement:

  • WA government to support 77 regional events with $1 million funding
  • Regional Events Scheme to support WA’s regional tourism industry on the road to recovery
  • Most regional borders to be relaxed from May 29, enabling tourism industry to reopen to intrastate travellers

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said:  

Now it is more important than ever to get behind these regional businesses, communities and tourism events.

The funding support follows the State Government’s moves this week to lift regional borders – with most regional boundaries to be lifted from Friday, May 29, and the Kimberley region to follow from June 5. Aboriginal communities will remain closed to visitors.

The 77 events supported by the Regional Events Scheme will help kick start regional tourism into its recovery phase, with an influx of Western Australian tourists set to holiday locally this year.

Events form an important part of the McGowan Government and Tourism WA’s strategy to attract visitors to the regions to help support jobs and local economies.

Events awarded funding for the first time through the scheme this year include Bunbury Fringe 2021 (South-West), Get Hooked Fishing Festival (Wheatbelt) and the South Festival (Pilbara).

Seven events were awarded funding under the Regional Aboriginal Events Scheme, to showcase Aboriginal activities and experiences, and encourage Aboriginal leadership and participation.

Due to potential future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, successful funding applicants for the 2020-2021 Scheme have been given the option of holding their event at any time up until December 31,2021.

For a full list of events awarded 2020-21 funding, visit the Tourism WA:

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