Call to exploit falling dollar. attract tourists

Tourist Treats: The South West Craft Beer Festival returns to Busselton on February 14, just one of a myriad of events and festivals which could attract more overseas visitors to the South West.

Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association board vice-president Clive Johnson says associations and the State Government need to "jump on the bandwagon" of a falling Australian dollar and market WA and its regions better.

Mr Johnson told the Busselton Dunsborough Times there was a need to try and attract people to WA from overseas at this "important time" because travel was more affordable.

He said Busselton and Margaret River tourism body representatives would be meeting next week to discuss the issue and aimed to make a "policy decision" on marketing.

"While the dollar is weak we should be saying to the Americans it is affordable to come to Australia and we should be doing it right now," Mr Johnson said.

WA Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the tourism industry could capitalise on the Australian dollar falling below 80 US cents, but he said the State Government needed to invest in marketing.

"This can be a boom time for tourism in WA," he said.

"More Australians are likely to travel in WA and more international visitors are taking advantage of the low dollar.

"However, to take full advantage of the situation we need to promote WA as an extraordinary and affordable destination."

Augusta-Margaret River Tourism Association chief executive Pip Close said the falling dollar "certainly" made WA a more attractive destination and added it would make sense to "stimulate demand from the US market" with increased marketing dollars.

"With the development of the regional brand and move to a new single local tourism organisation, we are hopeful that the Margaret River region will feature more heavily in the State's destination marketing activity," she said.

The main issue, according to shadow tourism minister Paul Papalia, was that the State Government broke a "key election promise" for tourism funding.

Mr Papalia said $24 million was promised for tourism and after the election only $9.2 million was allocated over three years.

"We're competing with the rest of Australia for overseas markets," he said. "With marketing tourism, it's essential to what you spend."

Acting Tourism Minister John Day said Tourism WA's budget was currently the largest it had ever been.

He said with the State Government's investment in metropolitan and regional events and infrastructure attraction there was a "very strong tourism future" in WA.


Bunbury Beach 'Place To Meet For Sex
Premier Declares Northcliffe Fire A Natural Disaster
Surfer Dies At Smiths Beach
Prisoner Hospitalised After Injury
Erosion Threat For Dolphin Centre
WA Needs More Controlled Burns Barnett

Click here to go mobile with iNFOGO - local everywhere

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting