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2019-20 marked the conclusion of our Two-Year Action Plan for Tourism Western Australia – 2018 and 2019 (PDF 1.4MB), which delivered many positive tourism outcomes for the State, including record visitor numbers and spend.

We developed the plan with industry and our key stakeholders following a funding commitment in the 2017-18 State Budget of $425 million over five years for destination marketing and event tourism. The funding, together with the remarkable transformation of Perth with new, more affordable hotels and infrastructure such as Optus Stadium, opened many opportunities to help grow tourism in the State.

Focus areas

The plan focused on four areas to help grow tourism in Western Australia:

  1. Grow the number of people travelling to WA from overseas and increase direct flights to the State.
  2. Grow the number of interstate visitors, in particular from the east coast, by changing the perceptions of Perth to an affordable, vibrant destination.
  3. Attract more people, more often to regional WA through marketing, exciting events, cruise shipping and Aboriginal tourism development.
  4. Intensify promotional activity in key target markets to encourage travel.

Record-breaking year

The plan was a success, with WA’s tourism industry breaking records in 2019. Overall, 24.2 million daytrips were taken in Western Australia and 12 million overnight visitors came to, or travelled within, the State in 2019. Together these visitors spent $11 billion in the State - $5.2 billion, or 48 per cent, of which was spent in regional WA.

In particular, the number of international holiday visitors increased by 10.1 per cent to 536,400. These visitors spent $870 million - an increase of 13.7 per cent. This was the highest-ever number of international holiday visitors to WA and the strongest growth rate in international holiday visitors and spend of all states and territories in that year.

Interstate records were also broken with the number of interstate holiday visitors rising 21.4 per cent to 501,100, and interstate holiday spend increasing 30.4 per cent to $857 million.

These results show that the Two-Year Action Plan helped to increase visitor spend, attracted more people to Western Australia, and encouraged them to stay longer and go further.

Key achievements

Key achievements of our Two-Year Action Plan include:

  • AFL tourism: We ran AFL tourism marketing campaigns in 2018 and 2019 to increase intrastate and interstate visitors to AFL games at Optus Stadium. Both seasons attracted more than 124,000 people who spent $123.3 million in WA.
  • Direct flights: We secured direct flights from key international markets to increase visitors to WA. All Nippon Airways launched direct flights between Tokyo and Perth in September 2019, adding more than 134,000 seats into the market. China Eastern Airlines’ first-ever seasonal flight trial between Perth and Shanghai began in January 2020. The five-week trial was set to be a resounding success, with an average load factor of more than 80 per cent on flights, before it was paused due to COVID-19
  • Regional aviation: We established an Affordable Airfares Program to provide cheaper airfares to Exmouth and Broome and encourage more people to holiday in regional WA. We also helped secure new interstate direct routes including Melbourne to Kununurra, operated by Alliance Airlines, and Melbourne to Busselton operated by Jetstar.
  • Travel trade events: WA hosted three of Tourism Australia's major travel trade events in 2019 – the Australian Tourism Exchange, Corroboree West and Dreamtime. These events attracted thousands of delegates to Perth, providing a valuable opportunity to shine a light on the city’s transformation and promote WA to key international buyers.
  • Blockbuster events: Optus Stadium hosted blockbuster events secured by Tourism WA in 2019, including State of Origin Game II, Manchester United Perth Tour and Bledisloe Cup. In total, these events contributed around $48 million into the WA economy and attracted more than 32,000 visitors from outside the State.

Next steps

In 2019-20, we started developing a long-term strategy for tourism beyond 2020, however this was paused due to COVID-19. We are now focused on a tourism recovery plan, in line with the State Government’s WA Recovery Plan, to ensure a sustainable tourism industry in the future.

The outcomes of the Two-Year Action Plan laid the groundwork for a strong tourism industry, and we will continue to work hard towards recovery to ensure the industry is well-positioned to bounce back when the time is right.

Last Reviewed: 2021-01-25