Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    Tourism spending in Western Australia at record high

    17/12/2007 2:52 PM

    Western Australian tourism has enjoyed continued and significant growth, with visitor spending once again breaking national records.

    Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said new figures from Tourism Research Australia revealed visitors to WA spent $5.065 billion during the year ending September 2007.

    “Spending by our international, interstate and intrastate visitors has reached an all time high for the sixth quarter in a row,” Ms McHale said.

    “Visitor nights are up by 14 per cent compared with the same time last year and sitting above the national average of a 5.1 per cent increase, with the interstate and international figures at all-time highs.

    “Interstate and international visitor numbers also grew considerably growth, above the national average.

    “It is also worth noting that the greatest proportion of the growth we are seeing in our international market is coming from leisure visitors rather than business travellers.

    “It’s also encouraging to see the Singapore and Malaysian markets experiencing good growth since the introduction of Tiger Airways.”

    The Minister said outstanding growth in the tourism sector was extremely pleasing, but it would not last forever.

    “This is the biggest peak our industry has ever seen, but it will be difficult to maintain - especially with the strong Australian dollar, rising petrol prices and the increase in low cost carriers across Asia,” she said.

    “The number of Western Australians travelling within their own State has decreased slightly by 1.1 per cent, which is more than likely due to the increasing popularity of overseas travel.”

    Ms McHale said while WA’s figures were at record highs, the State was seeing some slowing in the growth of intrastate and interstate visitor numbers during 2007, which could mean less encouraging results at the start of 2008.

    “Critical supply issues in our WA tourism product, particularly in Perth and WA’s north, also present challenges to maintaining our recent rapid growth,” she said.

    “Much of the industry is feeling the pinch of the labour shortage and capacity issues with flights and accommodation, especially at peak times.

    “The Government is aware of the challenges facing the industry and is taking action by providing significant funding and undertaking a range of valuable initiatives.”

    Minister's office - 9213 6900