Tourism’s $130m Mayday call: Falling visitor numbers ‘a risk to jobs and business’

The West Australian, 29 January 2019 (EXTRACT)

The tourism industry has issued a $130 million mayday call to the State Government, claiming more businesses and jobs in the sector are “doomed” unless the plummeting number of overseas visitors to WA is treated as a “State emergency”.

Evan Hall, who has run the Tourism Council for seven years, told The West Australian it was “impossible to over-exaggerate the disastrous state of the industry”.

Citing new international arrival figures at Perth Airport that reveal a 14 per cent decline in October and November, the council chief executive and tourism operators urged the Government to arrest the “diabolical situation” they blame on a lack of spending to market WA overseas.

“We are in a crisis,” Mr Hall said. “We’ve seen more than 1200 jobs go in the last financial year and it has become inevitable that hundreds more will follow.”

Operators warned that the current tourism budget could not compete with other States, who have increased their spending by as much as 100 per cent.

“Australia is experiencing an international tourism boom, but those people are not coming to WA,” he said.

“Tourism spending in our State is down by $180 million and if that continues year on year, we will see an industry crisis that mirrors what occurred with the collapse of Ansett, September 11 and the SARS virus.”:READ MORE: