The Western Australian Government can strategically position the State’s visitor economy to capture more high-yield international visitors as part of its response to the end of the mining construction boom says the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia’s (TTF) Budget submission.
As part of its submission, TTF is calling for the WA Government to reverse the cut in funding for Tourism Western Australia and instead provide additional funding to attract more high-yield international visitors.
According to the latest International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia, Western Australia saw a 4 per cent decline in international visitor expenditure in 2015 at the same time that Victoria (30 per cent), NSW (19 per cent) and Queensland (19 per cent) recorded dramatic growth.
“Western Australia has a tough challenge compared to the other Australian States – it is one of the most remote places on Earth in a country which is already a long-haul destination for travellers. WA needs to think strategically when investing in growing its visitor economy to ensure the best bang for its buck,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Tourism Western Australia’s funding is set to plunge from $89.1 million in 2015-16 to $68.1 million in 2018-19 – this is simply the wrong direction if Western Australia is serious about diversifying its economy away from mining.
“Other Australian States are investing more funding into their marketing campaigns and seeing strong results with Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania all recording double digit growth in international expenditure.
“The eastern States have it easy in comparison to Western Australia’s job of attracting visitations but the State’s tourism offering is now maturing to the point where there is a significant opportunity to attract high-yield international visitors to experience the beautiful uniqueness of Australia’s largest State.
“We now have more than one million Chinese visitors coming to Australia spending a record $8.3 billion over the past 12 months – that’s a lucrative, high yield, market for Western Australia to be tapping into with a reinvigorated and well-funded marketing strategy.
“A slash and burn approach to tourism marketing is foolhardy and rejects international research that shows a return on investment of $15 for every $1 spend on tourism marketing – that’s a great investment in anyone’s book.
“With a number of major hotel chains planning or completing a significant number of four, five and even six star hotels in Perth, Western Australia is in a position to appeal to the luxury market in a way it never has before.
“This luxury product could also be used to position Perth as a gateway to some of the major regional high-yield visitor destinations such as Broome, Ningaloo and Margaret River.
“Western Australia’s visitor economy is well-positioned to see a significant uplift in international visitor expenditure if the Government is willing to back the industry with a strong investment in Tourism Western Australia.”