The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) has today welcomed the State Government’s renewed commitment to boosting WA tourism with the release of their two-year action plan.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said WA should be a global tourism hotspot. Instead, our international and interstate tourism figures are in decline while ever other state and territory has experienced growth.

“WA industry believes it can compete internationally and has invested significantly in new products to create jobs in our state. The critical objective now is to be in the market,” Mr Rodwell said.

“It is vital that the Government works with industry to strengthen our tourism sector, so we are particularly encouraged by the Government’s recognition that cross-industry collaboration and engagement with tourism delivery partners must be increased to achieve the state’s objectives.”

Boosting WA’s position as the Western Gateway to Australia by capitalising on the new London-Perth direct flights and investigating new direct route options including those with China, Japan and India is critical.

“The launch of Qantas’ London direct flights alone is estimated to deliver up to $36 million a year in additional visitor spending in the WA economy and will inject substantial investment in travel, trade, and infrastructure for our state, which means contracts for WA businesses and jobs for WA workers,” Mr Rodwell said.

“CCI strongly supports the Government expanding Perth’s high-profile events, including a home-grown Perth event, to increase visitation, particularly from interstate, and to encourage pre and post touring of the region.

“There are a number of steps that the Government still needs to take:

  • Rebrand the state and its key tourism destinations;
  • Attract more investment across the state;
  • Deregulate retail trading hours;
  • Remove restrictions on skilled migration;
  • Recruit and appoint a full-time CEO of Tourism WA who has the industry experience to get the return on the public investment made in the sector.

While we appreciate the Government’s work to date to enhance WA’s tourism sector, CCI encourages the Government to continue to progress key recommendations of the Tourism Western Australia 2020 strategy performance report by the office of the Auditor General Western Australia.

“Setting clear timeframes and performance targets for industry partners, ensuring there is a clear and structured approach to collaboration, and working with partners on red tape reduction initiatives will be fundamental to the implementation of the action plan,” Mr Rodwell said.

“CCI looks forward to continuing to work with the State Government to support a collaborative focus on economic diversity and jobs growth through tourism.”