WA keeps promise to tourism but more to be done

Peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has welcomed the final instalment of the West Australian Government’s election commitment to provide additional support for tourism in its 2015-15 budget.

The government has committed an additional $11 million over four years for tourism marketing, fulfulling its 2013 election promise to deliver an additional $24 million to marketing over four years after increases in two earlier budgets. However, the budget papers show a sharp decline in funding for Tourism Western Australia, dropping more than $20 million by 2018-19.

Chief Executive, Margy Osmond said the government had made the right decision to back tourism marketing, but industry needed certainty that this commitment would continue beyond next financial year.

“Investing in tourism makes economic sense. No other industry has the potential to help create jobs and prosperity for West Australia beyond the mining boom,” she said.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to increase funding for tourism and provide a boost for events funding in this year’s budget, in line with their election commitment.

“These budget initiatives will support the West Australian Government in its efforts to reach the goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020, from $6 billion to $12 billion.

“Industry does, however, have serious concerns over the planned drop-off in funding for Tourism WA, with a $20 million reduction projected for 2018-19.

“With a pipeline of new hotel developments coming online and the need to reinvigorate the leisure tourism market, the government cannot allow tourism marketing funding to drop off.

“If this reduction eventuates, it has the potential to un-do the good work done to foster growth in the tourism industry in WA and we call on the government to renew its commitment to tourism marketing beyond this budget and invest in jobs and economic growth for the state.”