Boat parade plan to lure tourists

Tourism Council of WA chief Evan Hall. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

A "River of Lights" evening boat parade along the Swan River has been identified as the type of homegrown event that could attract thousands of international and interstate visitors to Perth.

The suggestion is included in the Tourism Council's strategy to double the value of tourism in Perth by 2020.

It could involve hundreds of lit boats - of all shapes and sizes - travelling down the river, from Perth to Fremantle.

It would be viewed from world-class destinations such as Kings Park and Elizabeth Quay.

The strategy said the River of Lights would deliver visitors to Perth and could become the key pillar of an annual calendar of exhibitions, shows and events.

It said Perth needed a significant homegrown event that celebrated the city's unique environment and fantastic outdoor lifestyle.

"Major events ranging from the America's Cup to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting demonstrate that Perth loves to host an international party," it said.

"But Perth needs an annual international event that showcases the city and attracts the world's attention year after year.

"International events can be purchased, but they are expensive and do not always reflect the Perth identity."

The strategy said planning should continue for an indigenous cultural centre, a lyric theatre, the new museum and an upgrade of Perth Concert Hall.

It said the new sports stadium on the Burswood Peninsula also had the potential to boost tourism. To do so, it was important that at least 10,000 seats were earmarked for interstate visitors to all AFL matches and other sporting events.

The strategy said WA and Perth's natural assets meant that "adventure" could be a hallmark experience for visitors.

"No Australian tourism region has emerged as the adventure tourism capital," it said.

"With accessible natural assets, great weather and active outdoor lifestyle, Perth is ideally suited to become Australia's leading adventure tourism destination. Perth has already established adventure tourism experiences, such as long-distance walking trails, mountain biking, sky diving and hot air ballooning in the Avon Valley.

"The key opportunity is to develop inner city adventure experiences centred on Kings Park and the Swan River."

The strategy said the delivery of a cable car linking Kings Park to Elizabeth Quay should be a priority.

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