Premier Mark McGowan and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia today welcomed all Australian Tourism Exchange 2019 (ATE19) participants at the event’s official opening and announced a record funding boost for Rottnest Island – one of WA’s jewels in its tourism crown.
The McGowan Government is investing $16.2 million, as part of the 2019-20 State Budget, to completely redevelop the Fuel Jetty and construct a barge landing at the Army Jetty, to provide an alternative for logistics and freight traffic, helping to ease pressure on the Main Jetty at Thomson Bay.
This will enable Rottnest Island to continue to cater for the hundreds of thousands of visitors it attracts. This is the largest standalone State Government funding injection since 2008-09.
The announcement comes as the Rottnest Island Authority secured $17.2 million in Commonwealth funding for further infrastructure upgrades, including $5 million for the Rottnest Island Museum.
Following the McGowan Government’s support and promotion efforts since taking office in March 2017, Rottnest Island has received record-breaking visitor numbers, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Nine new businesses have started on the island and 83 new eco tents have increased accommodation options, with a further 80 rooms expected as part of the Hotel Rottnest expansion.
Rottnest continues to be a popular tourism destination, experiencing a record 770,000 visitors in 2018.
This funding boost is in addition to the $12 million new tourism package, already announced as part of the upcoming State Budget, in a bid to attract more international visitors to WA.
The State Government, through Tourism Western Australia, is hosting the Tourism Australia owned event, which is the nation’s annual travel and tourism business-to-business event, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The four-day event is expected to attract more than 2,000 of the world’s most influential people from the tourism industry for ATE 2019, including about 600 international and domestic buyers and 70 media from more than 30 countries, as well as 1,400 sellers from more than 550 companies.
ATE is considered as a major business opportunity for Australian tourism providers to showcase their products and negotiate deals with organisations who sell Australian tourism product internationally.
Some of the top buyers in Tourism WA’s key international markets will be represented at the ATE, including well-known international companies Helloworld, Thomas Cook and Flight Centre.
Western Australia’s tourism product will also be experienced firsthand by buyers and media through an extensive familiarisation program.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“We’re delighted to be able to host such a prestigious event in Perth at a time when we are starting to see business confidence returning to our State and having just recorded the highest ever international visitor numbers to WA.
“We want to continue to build on this momentum, that is why we’ve committed an extra
$12 million to tourism marketing to attract more holiday-makers from South-East Asian markets and long haul destinations.
“Rottnest Island continues to experience huge visitation numbers, which is why our investment towards key infrastructure is vital in ensuring the island’s sustainability into the future.
“My Government’s commitment in boosting tourism by securing more direct flights, filling our hotel rooms and restaurants, and investment in premier events sends a strong message to the world’s top tourism buyers attending ATE that WA is serious about securing their business to grow our visitor numbers.”
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“The McGowan Government continues to invest in tourism to create jobs and diversify our economy.
“As we continue to welcome record visitors to Rottnest, a $16.2 million injection will help the Authority to continue to build on the island’s appeal and sustainment into the future.
“ATE19 will be the biggest event in 10 years in terms of buyer and seller numbers, and that is a credit to WA’s growing reputation as a highly desirable tourism destination.
“WA last hosted ATE in 2012 and our city has undergone a huge transformation in the years since. We can now proudly claim to have world-class sport and entertainment infrastructure, complemented by new hotels, bars and restaurants.
“ATE is the perfect platform to show off our capital’s transformation to the key players in the industry, along with the incredible range of memorable regional tourism experiences unique to our State.”