Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Minister for Tourism; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    WA’s tourism numbers reach record high before COVID-19 pandemic

    8/04/2020 1:00 PM
    • Western Australia's tourism industry valued at a record $11 billion in 2019
    • State recorded its highest growth rate in international holiday visitors
    • Also recorded highest growth rate in spend of all States and Territories
    • Interstate holiday visitor numbers and spend the highest on record 

    Western Australia's tourism industry broke records in 2019 with visitor numbers and spend at all-time highs and the industry valued at $11 billion according to the latest figures.


    The results from Tourism Research Australia demonstrate the underlying strength of WA's tourism industry and the hope for the industry when the State's economy begins recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Today's figures show how well Western Australia had grown its international reputation over the last few years.


    In the year ending December 2019, the number of international holiday visitors increased by 10.1 per cent to 536,400.


    These visitors, according to the International Visitor Survey, spent $870 million - an increase of 13.7 per cent.


    This is the highest ever number of international holiday visitors to WA and the strongest growth rate in international holiday visitors and spend of all States and Territories.


    Other stand-outs include the Coral Coast region, which recorded a 30.4 per cent increase in international holiday-makers from 82,700 to 107,800 and the North-West which rose by almost 20 per cent.


    Overall a total of 995,700 international visitors travelled to the State, which was an increase of 3.3 per cent on the 2018 figures.


    Interstate records also continued to be broken with interstate holiday visitor numbers and spend the highest on record according to the National Visitor Survey.


    The number of interstate holiday visitors rose 21.4 per cent to 501,100 and the interstate holiday spend increased 30.4 per cent to $857 million.


    Interstate holiday-maker numbers to Australia's Golden Outback region rose by 80 per cent to 103,300 overnight visitors and the South-West rose by almost 15 per cent to 231,900 visitors.


    Western Australians also took more overnight trips within the State during this period, increasing by 11.2 per cent to 9.17 million intrastate overnight visitors.


    The South-West continued to be popular with WA holiday-makers with intrastate overnight visitors rising by 12.6 per cent to 2,458,800.


    The latest data shows overall 24.2 million daytrips were taken in Western Australia and 12 million overnight visitors came to, or travelled within, the State in 2019.


    Together these visitors spent $11 billion in the State, $5.2 billion (or 48 per cent) of which was spent in regional WA.


    Although these record figures have demonstrated how well Western Australia's tourism industry has been performing in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the industry.


    The McGowan Government has moved to support tourism industries with licence fee, utility charges, and payroll relief as well as COVID-19 support teams through Tourism WA  (https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2020/04/New-COVID-19-support-team-to-help-WA-tourism-industry.aspx).


    More support measures are currently being considered.


    Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:


    "These latest figures show just how well Western Australia's tourism industry was doing before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.


    "These are extremely tough times for our tourism industry, but I hope that our operators find some comfort in these figures to know that what they were doing before was working and they had helped the sector rise in value to a record $11 billion.


    "I would like to say thank you to all our operators and marketers for their great efforts in recent years to grow our industry domestically, nationally and internationally. They should take great pride in what was achieved throughout the State.


    "The McGowan Government has moved to reduce costs for our tourism operators and there are more support measures being considered now.


    "Tourism WA has also established a COVID-19 Industry Support Team to provide businesses with advice on the assistance available as well as to stay across how they are managing this pandemic.


    "It will be a long road to recovery when the pandemic is over, but today's figures show that tourism was a significant part of our economy and the potential to rebuild strongly will be there in the years to come."


    Minister's office - 6552 5600