The tourism industry congratulates the Western Australian Government for delivering a Budget that faces the future and recognises the critical role tourism will play, said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
“Western Australia is going through a tough transition from the mining boom to what its new economy will look like but the State has a great opportunity to grow its visitor economy to plug that gap with a strong commitment from the Government,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“That’s what the WA Government is starting to lay out today with a commitment to boost funding for tourism events, conference and destination marketing by $47 million over the next four years.
“Western Australia is a fantastic visitor destination but it needs to invest in marketing and promotion to get international visitors and domestic leisure visitors planning a ‘break’ in this beautiful State.
“According to the latest figures, Western Australia has seen a four per cent decline in international visitor expenditure at the same time that the number of visitors has increased by three per cent.
“A new and focused marketing campaign targeting high-yield visitors is exactly what this extra funding from the Western Australian Government will make possible. TTF has lobbied long and hard for this new Budget focus for our increasingly critical industry.
“Industry would be thrilled to see Western Australia achieving the 19 to 30 per cent yearly growth in international visitor expenditure that we are experiencing in NSW, Queensland and Victoria. That is a positive target for WA to be shooting for and that translates into more economic activity and jobs in the State’s economy.
“The allocation of $378.5 million for a new museum to replace and upgrade the existing facility at Perth Cultural Centre is also a great outcome, as visitors are increasingly drawn to cities with strong and diverse cultural and heritage attractions.”
Ms Osmond said the Western Australian Government’s commitment to investing in public transport infrastructure was also great news with more visitors demanding easy public transport and plenty of it.
“A rail link between Perth Airport and the CBD is really a no-brainer and it’s great to see that project gaining momentum towards operation in 2020. Modern and efficient cities have good public transport links to their airports and that will put Perth ahead of a city like Melbourne which is still without a rail link to its airport.
“It’s fantastic to see funding committed towards the MAX Light Rail project, and planning recommencing in 2016-17. We are seeing light rail being embraced in major cities across Australia and Perth is taking part in that public transport revolution.
“The industry applauds the Premier for embracing the tourism portfolio and investing in the industry of the State’s future – the visitor economy.”