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WA records 28% increase in interstate visitor numbers

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The view down St Georges Terrace in Perth, Western Australia. Source: Unsplash/Nathan Hurst.

Perth has boasted the biggest visitor growth of any capital city in the latest data from Tourism Research Australia, as the Western Australian government estimates a 12% increase in domestic visitor spend on pre-pandemic figures.

According to a new report from Tourism Research Australia, 35,000 more visitors travelled interstate to WA compared with pre-COVID-19 pandemic numbers.

WA was the only state to record growth in interstate visitor numbers in June 2022 compared to the same period in 2019. This represented a 28% increase in visitor arrivals compared to declines for interstate tourists in Victoria (21%), NSW (18%) and Queensland (10%).

The record is the biggest interstate visitors increase for any state and backs the “aggressive tourism strategy” the state government claims it pursued in the interest of local jobs and businesses.

In a statement, Roger Cook, WA minister for tourism, jobs and trade, said the state’s plan to “turbocharge the tourism industry” was working. He cited the state’s new Walking On A Dream tourism campaign, which aimed to win more of the competitive market.

“The growth in interstate visitors and seeing spending in Perth up almost 50% are a real shot in the arm for tourism and hospitality businesses,” Cook said.

“We are letting the rest of Australia and the world know that WA is one of the most desirable and special tourism destinations on the planet.”

In June this year, Perth’s domestic visitor spend achieved the best result since the start of the pandemic, reaching $426 million. The figure topped the data from June 2019 by 48%, beating growth in spending for other capital cities such as Brisbane (39%), Adelaide (28%), and Melbourne (10%).

Interstate tourists visiting Sydney spent less, with the Harbour city experiencing a 7% decline.

WA recorded interstate and intrastate visitor numbers in June at 85% of pre-COVID levels.

Meanwhile, Perth’s restored figures for June recorded 87% of pre-COVD visitor numbers.

“There is still a long way to go but the fact we are already leading the nation in key areas is extremely encouraging,” Cook said.

“This is the most competitive tourism market the world has ever seen,” he said.

This article was first published by The Mandarin.

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