The McGowan Government has made an $150 million tourism package investment to support Western Australia’s tourism sector as it responds to the impacts of COVID-19, as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
Many of the State’s natural icons are set to undergo major improvements, which will create a pipeline of jobs, help get people back into work, and people out visiting the WA attractions and supporting local businesses.
Western Australia’s most iconic natural attractions and tourism drawcards – including Kings Park, Margaret River, Karijini National Park, Monkey Mia, the Pinnacles, Rottnest Island and Ningaloo – are among many destinations to benefit from the $150 million package.
Key tourism attractions across the State will be enhanced – with construction to begin on new visitor facilities, camp sites, trails, jetties, boardwalks, and other amenities and infrastructure.
The comprehensive program also includes affordable airfare packages, enhancements for Aboriginal cultural tourism, road improvements for better access to destinations, and support to bring unique and innovative attractions to WA.
Premier Mark McGowan, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson launched the wide-ranging program today in Mandurah.
The tourism recovery package will create jobs in a wide range of industries, with capital works programs to begin right around the State with regional WA, in particular, to see significant benefits from the program.
The improvements will ensure the local industry is better placed than ever to capitalise on the future return of out-of-State tourists – while continuing to build on the strong intrastate market of locals now travelling in WA instead of overseas or interstate.
Western Australians have responded positively to the McGowan Government’s Wander Out Yonder campaign, with destinations around the State reporting strong numbers since regional border restrictions were relaxed.
The $150 million investment will see scores of tourism-focused projects and initiatives getting underway, including a new $10 million café and function centre at Perth Zoo and more than $1 million of improvements at Kings Park.
In the Peel region, visitors and residents will be able to benefit from $950,000 worth of infrastructure works including upgrades to the timber boardwalks and paths, and visitor facilities in national parks across the Peel hills and coastal region including buildings, trails, camp sites and roads.
The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail, which runs through the Peel, will also benefit from a $1.19 million upgrade which includes the renewing of camp sites, bridges and sections of the track.
These investments complement the $25 million for the Healthy Estuaries WA program for improvement works in estuaries across regional WA, including the Peel Harvey system – announced as part of the Green Jobs Plan component of the WA Recovery Plan.
Aboriginal cultural tourism experiences will be boosted with the $3.84 million development of three ‘Camping with Custodians’ sites at Dampier Peninsula near Broome, while a $10 million access road will open up the Pilbara’s Murujuga National Park and support the development of the Living Knowledge Centre.
Rottnest Island’s ageing water supply and road network will be overhauled with a $31 million investment to meet sustained visitor growth and increased business activity since 2017.
Millions will be spent developing trails and ‘trails towns’ around the State to service existing and new trails to attract more visitors to national parks. In addition to walking trails there is $20 million for bike trails in Kalamunda and Mundaring in the Perth Hills, and regional WA including Albany, Denmark, Mount Barker, Plantagenet, Pemberton and Margaret River.
The investment includes $9 million towards regional air travel – consisting of the $6 million Regional Aviation Recovery package to support airlines’ partnerships to tourism destinations, and the $3 million regional aviation support package to ensure minimum services.
A $1 million investment in the Tourism Attractions Case Management framework will help attract unique and innovative attractions to the State.
For more information on tourism package projects, visit https://www.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“This major investment will assist the State’s tourism industry as it manages the impacts of COVID-19, enhancing Western Australia’s greatest assets – our world-class natural attractions.
“These wide-ranging improvements will enhance the intrastate holiday experience for locals, while ensuring the State is better placed than ever to capitalise on the out-of-State market when the time comes.
“Western Australians are among the best travellers in the world and COVID-19 has not dimmed our enthusiasm for getting out and exploring new places and incredible locations, with this investment to boost the visitor experience while creating a pipeline of jobs in many industries all around the State.”
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“Western Australia’s greatest strength as a tourism destination is our pristine natural assets – we truly have the most exotic, diverse and remarkable environment in the world.
“This raft of important projects all across the State will enhance the visitor experience at many of our most unique destinations, ensuring our stunning landscapes and natural offerings are properly supported by quality visitor facilities and infrastructure.
“We are home to the oldest living culture on earth, and the investment in Aboriginal cultural tourism will allow even more tourists to learn about the State’s incredible history while having an unforgettable holiday experience.”
As stated by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
“If we could take one positive from the COVID pandemic it would be the surge in collective appreciation for what’s in our own backyard; throughout Western Australia, people have been rediscovering a passion for our natural environment.
“Enhancing the State’s tourism icons is important, because if we can help people connect with nature, that’s not just good news for them – it’s great news for our environment. Giving people opportunities to appreciate and learn about the natural world is at the heart of creating an environmentally-aware Western Australian community.
“This aspect of the Recovery Plan to boost tourism infrastructure will help ensure WA’s economic recovery supports the continued protection of Western Australia’s spectacular environment – one of our most precious assets.
“When planning your next holiday, make sure you explore nature’s offerings in our own backyard. If COVID has taught us anything it’s that we need to appreciate what we have in our own State, celebrate it and make sure we look after it for generations to come.”