Prolific travel writer and US comedian Tom Rhodes - who described Perth as "a slice of heaven at the end of the Earth" after a recent visit - is surprised that locals "seem to be bored with the place".
In a column on the American news website Huffington Post, published at the weekend, Rhodes said everything in Perth was perfect - the year-round temperature, the city's design and people's kindness.
But Rhodes said: "No one who lives there seems to be very excited about the place. Most everyone you meet there is bored and complains that the city is too slow-paced."
Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi shared his view, saying locals "often didn't realise how good we have it in Perth".
Premier Colin Barnett said people were passionate about Perth.
"You'll find that if you ask Perth residents whether they'd choose to live anywhere else, the answer would be a resounding no," he said.
Rhodes was in Perth to appear at the 2011 Wild West Comedy Festival. He has been writing about his journeys for more than a decade.
Speaking from London yesterday, Rhodes said he was surprised by negative comments and perceptions about Perth.
"Now, if you lived in Canberra, you would have something to complain about," he said.
There were many aspects of Perth he liked, such as browsing bookstores in Mt Lawley, the Little Creatures Brewery and strolling along the river. He said Perth restaurants were world class.
"I discovered a couple of restaurants in Northbridge that had the best Malaysian food in the world. Better than Malaysia," he said.
Rhodes also described the Northbridge Piazza as "one of the most unique and inviting spaces I have ever seen a city provide".
Ms Scaffidi said some people found it easy to complain about Perth but realised its true assets after they had been away.
Curtin University cultural studies professor Jon Stratton said many locals, particularly young people, saw Perth as backward and slow-paced compared with cosmopolitan cities they saw on TV.
"But for visitors who come here, Perth can be a relief, a nice return to human pace," he said.
Tourism WA chief executive Stephanie Buckland said Perth's reputation as a vibrant and exciting city was growing with its new small bars, restaurants, cafes and pubs changing its lifestyle.
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