A TOURISM boom is in full swing – visitors spent a record $41 billion in Australia during 2017.
Yet fewer people came to WA and there was a sharp decline in spending.
The state’s visitors dropped one per cent to 946,000 in the 12 months to December 2017 an the number of nights visitors stayed for fell eight per cent.
There was also a drop of five per cent in visitor spending in WA, which translates to $120 million less than the previous year.
That compares starkly with Queensland, where visitors and spending both rose by four per cent, while Victoria and NSW led the way, attracting eight and seven per cent more tourists respectively.
International tourists spent more than $40 billion in Australia last year, with a quarter of that amount coming from visitors from China.
Latest figures from a federal government International Visitors’ Survey show 8.1 million overseas visitors spent a record $41.3 billion for the year ending December 2017.
That figure is a six per cent increase on 2016 and represents an additional $2.2 billion to the economy.
Chinese visitors alone spent $10.4 billion, while spending from US tourists was up three per cent to $3.8 billion.
Evan Hall, the head of the Tourism Council of WA, told 6PR it was an ‘incredibly disappointing result’.
“The truth is the state is not promoting itself as well as other states are,” he said.
He said a lack of experienced leaders at the helm of Tourism WA played a role.
Tourism minister Paul Papalia laid the blame at the feet of the previous Government, saying their visitor strategies had failed.
But he said there had been an uptick in visitors between September and December.
– with AAP