Western Australia’s strategy to attract tourists and stimulate income for local business will be given a $70 million boost in today’s 2022-23 State Budget.
This is the next stage in turbo-charging WA’s economic transition after the successful management of COVID-19 for more than two years.
The Budget increases the focus on events and marketing while developing new tourism products.
The new Budget measures are on top of the $195 million Reconnect WA package to support interstate tourism, aviation, working holiday makers and international students.
The Tourism WA budget consists of three areas – Event Tourism, Destination Marketing and Tourism Experience Development.
Securing blockbuster events is a key part of the McGowan Government’s tourism strategy.
The success of this strategy has been highlighted with recent major success stories such as the NRL State of Origin, Wallabies v England Rugby Union test match and the English football blockbusters, with WA the only jurisdiction to host all four teams – and more exciting announcements to come.
The 2023-23 Budget steps up this strategy with an extra $30.7 million over four years to attract even more major events.
This includes $20 million for a Major Events Fund including business events, or $5 million a year, and an extra $10.7 million for the Event Tourism budget.
The 2022-23 State Budget commits to increasing destination marketing by $21.1 million over the next two financial years.
This additional significant funding boost will be used to position WA as a globally desirable holiday destination and grow leisure visitation to the State through targeted marketing efforts that include a focus on five destinations around WA – the Coral Coast, Golden Outback, North-West, South-West and Perth.
The funding will also be used to implement major marketing campaigns across the east coast of Australia and the 11 priority international markets of Europe, the United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
A major part of this new funding will be launching a new brand campaign to grow awareness of WA’s unique offerings and to compete with other destinations around the world.
Tourism Experience Development
The existing Tourism Experience Development budget is about $10 million per year, of which about half is dedicated towards delivering the 2021 election promise for the Jina Plan to support and grow Aboriginal tourism experiences.
Since 2017-18, the McGowan Government has allocated $152.7 million towards 29 national park tourism infrastructure projects, including the Kalbarri Skywalk ($24 million), Karijini National Park ($16 million), Collie mountain bike trails ($10 million), and visitor and management amenities to establish the Houtman Abrolhos Island National Park ($12 million).
To further support the development of this strategy, the upcoming State Budget commits $17.7 million over four years to deliver a National Park Tourism Experience Development Package.
This will include $6.5 million to establish 8 ‘shovel-ready’ sites in national parks in preparation for private investment, including eco retreat accommodation, and $5 million to work with industry to activate the significant investment in trails and attractions already in national parks to create bookable touring options for locals, interstate and international visitors to enjoy.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Tourism Minister Roger Cook:
“The McGowan Government’s tourism strategy has been gathering momentum very quickly this year.
“We have announced a series of blockbuster sporting events in quick succession.
“These include the NRL State of Origin, the Wallabies international against England, the International Festival of Football, with four English Premier League teams, and WA also saw its first international event since borders were eased: the Margaret River Pro.
“Big events bring tourists and awareness, and inject millions of dollars into the local businesses.
“We have been spreading the message around Australia and the world that WA is open for business and open for tourism.
“This Budget takes the strategy to the next level.
“It will deliver more opportunities to secure events, more investment in taking our message to international markets and more money to develop new tourism products.
“This is a Budget that backs tourism, and backs investment in local businesses and creating jobs.”