WA domestic tourism lost $214 million, a decline of 26 per cent, in the month of July 2020 compared with July 2019 figures, the latest national visitor survey results reveal.
While intrastate visitor spending grew by $72 million, this was not enough to compensate for the $286 million lost from the lack of interstate visitors. This does not include the $193 million lost from the lack of international visitors.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said interstate visitors spent more than intrastate visitors on hotels, tours, experiences, and transport, and Western Australia needed interstate tourism dollars to save jobs at the Airport and in airlines, CBD hotels, bus and coach companies, and tourism businesses providing services to interstate guests.
“Without a doubt, we will save more jobs with interstate tourism than without, and we will save more tourism businesses with interstate workers than without,” Mr Hall said.
“Western Australian visitors have saved regional accommodation and hospitality businesses after months being shut down; however tourism businesses cannot be sustained without interstate visitors and workers.
“Regional tourism businesses are facing extreme difficulties securing local staff, which means in many cases they cannot meet capacity demands or offer the service that visitors expect.”
Queensland will open its interstate border to New South Wales from November 1, and Tasmania is expected to open up during October.
“As other States open their borders so they can save tourism jobs through interstate tourism, Western Australia is at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr Hall said.
“Queensland is a direct competitor to WA and is now taking bookings for family reunions, Christmas holidays and winter getaways in 2021. We expect they will see a flood of interstate arrivals as families reunite over Christmas.”