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New plan to drive growth in Western Australian tourism
In the face of flagging visitor numbers, the Western Australian Government has released a new two-year tourism action plan.
Released today be Tourism Western Australia, the plan focuses on four key areas that aim to drive visitation, including positioning the State as Australia's western gateway; changing perceptions of Perth and reigniting the east coast market; attracting more people, more often to regional Western Australian; and intensifying promotional activity in target markets to encourage travel.
According to Western Australia Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, the State is still perceived as being an expensive travel destination, a legacy he said flowed from the mining boom and did not correlate with the state's economic outlook.
Releasing the plan, he advised "tourism has really suffered during recent years. We're lagging dismally (behind) all the other states.”
Developed in consultation with industry and stakeholders, the Tourism WA plan aims to lure international and interstate tourists to the west.
Minister Papalia said visitors to Perth were blessed to be able to enjoy a variety of unique experiences without having to leave the greater metropolitan area, adding “you can go to one of only two premium wine producing sites inside a metropolitan area anywhere in the world, and that's the Swan Valley.
"You can go down to Rockingham and walk amongst a penguin rookery, see a seal colony.
"Or if you're a bit adventurous, go swimming with wild dolphins."
He again highlighted the attraction of Rottnest Island's quokkas, brought to international attention thanks to Roger Federer and Margot Robbie posting quokka selfies on their social media accounts.
Tourism Council WA has backed the plan with Chief Executive Evan Hall saying it provided a promising framework to grow visitor numbers.
Hall advised “this is a great plan developed by industry, for industry, to attract visitors and create jobs “Unique events are a fantastic way of encouraging visitors to travel to a destination, so it is particularly encouraging to see Tourism WA include the launch of a home-grown Perth event in the Plan.”
Hall said attractions were another vital component of a successful destination, but proponents often found it difficult to get ideas off the ground due to excessive regulatory processes. It was therefore pleasing to see the Plan point to encouraging the development of new privately-owned tourism attractions by supporting proponents through the regulatory landscape.
He added “there are many great tourism ideas out there with the financial support to make them happen, but they face an uphill struggle to get approvals through multiple government departments. Industry welcomes the focus on assisting these businesses and we hope to see many new attractions get off the ground as a result.”
The plan is available on the Tourism WA website at www.tourism.wa.gov.au
Images: Roger Federer makes friends with quokka on Rottnest Island (top) and Out and About Wine Tours (below).
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