Tourism

Is the new tourism boost too late for WA?

Lauren Croft

The Western Australian government has just announced they will give Perth a tourism boost – but with expensive airline prices, will it make a dent in Perth’s sinking hotel occupancy rates?

The WA Government is not only examining Perth’s struggling tourism market, but also the impact expensive airfares can have on it. An inquiry was released last week examined exactly how communities, businesses and tourism are effected by outrageous regional airfare prices.

According to Perth NowEvan Hall, from the Tourism Council of WA, said “Airfare prices were the ‘No.1 issue’ for regional tourism and needed to be ‘thoroughly examined'”.

A flight to Perth is the longest across Australia – over five hours, and usually costing over $300. Flying to Auckland is around the same price but takes two hours less – with a flight to Fiji only lasting four hours.

So it’s not surprising that the Australian Hotels Association (WA) is welcoming a tourism boost, as other countries keep winning out against Perth.

The WA government has proposed to re-evaluate the Tourism Western Australia budget – putting two million dollars towards driving increased tourist visitation through Perth: the gateway to the rest of WA.

Australian Hotels Association WA CEO Bradley Woods said the campaigns would be especially important during the next six to eight months for driving tourism and event visits to both the Perth and wider WA markets.

“We’ve had an enormous increase in room capacity without a corresponding increase in leisure and event visitation, so there are many hundreds of job-creating opportunities that are not materialising and this campaign will put bums on seats, bodies in beds and create the opportunities for the tourism industry to deliver for the State,” he said.

And Perth needs bodies in beds, badly. Since 2012 over 2000 new rooms have opened in the city – with over 2500 currently under construction. This means huge opportunities for new jobs and tourism, with the campaign set to “reignite” Perth’s low hotel occupancy rates.

But will the campaign be successful with increasingly expensive airline prices? In last week’s inquiry into regional airfare prices, airlines made waves with their submissions.

Virgin Australia said, “Most of the intrastate routes we serve in Western Australia do not deliver acceptable commercial returns,” according to Perth Now. 

They also warned that prices were likely to rise as a result of being unsustainable – and said that many routes in WA were used by fly-in, fly-out passengers rather than travellers.

And Virgin isn’t the only airline losing out; Qantas said even it’s profits from fly-in, fly-out passengers were dropping – by as much as 30 per cent between Perth and the Pilbara.

“Since 2005, 14 airlines have ceased operations altogether. In Western Australia in particular, 48 airlines have been acquired or become bankrupt since 1960,” it said in the inquiry.

But even with airlines set to increase airfare prices or decrease routes, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia is still hoping to make a difference with this huge campaign.

It will be multi-focused on co-operative marketing opportunities with airlines, travel agents and travel websites to try and build WA back up as a hot tourist destination – focusing on markets like Sydney, Melbourne, China and Singapore.

Hotels are also a main focus of the campaign: offering incentives for people to travel immediately to take advantage of special hotel package rates – despite the pricey airfare.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Breaking News

Destinations

Perth and WA’s Peel region to enter three-day lockdown

The WA government has announced a snap three-day lockdown for Perth and the Peel region, following a community case of COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“Businesses are keen to get back on the road”: CTM enjoying return to profitability

Jamie Pherous has been spotted doing a few cartwheels down the office hallway at Corporate Travel Management in celebration of these positive numbers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“Bit of a stretch”: Aussie comedian cops billion-dollar charge for extra legroom on Qantas flight

Aussie funnyman Dave O’Neil got quite the shock while trying to book extra legroom on a recent flight with the flying kangaroo.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Victorian government comes up with $633m plan to reboot tourism

Were you unable to attend the Victorian Tourism Conference on Wednesday? Well, we didn’t go either, so we’re very grateful to have received this press release.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Uniworld launches its first ‘Mystery Cruise’

The river cruise line is spicing up its range with a one-off mystery itinerary, just in case you need more than a few beers to wake up somewhere unexpected.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

PICTURES: Crystalbrook is bringing five-star eco-luxury to Newcastle

Newcastle’s iconic Roundhouse building has been transformed into the city’s first five-star hotel, with rooftop dining to boot.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar promotes ‘Limited Time Only’ sale with stunning outdoor artworks

The budget carrier has embraced its inner-Banksy to create this latest promo campaign.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Facebook removes French town’s page, confusing it for an English swearword

Facebook has been left red-faced after making social media management a bitch for the town of Bitche by removing its page.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Expedia’s brand positioning takes new direction

The online travel giant has recalibrated its compass and is heading in a new direction. However, that’s not to suggest it got completely lost.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Trans-Tasman flyer charged for threatening to blow up plane over wine spat

Travel Weekly staff have had similar problems at Friday knock-off drinks, but concede that threatening to blow up a plane is more serious than peeing in a pot plant.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

The Travel Corporation to go carbon neutral by 2030

TTC is celebrating Earth Day with a new five-step plan to tackle climate change, while Travel Weekly staff are celebrating by filling our KeepCups to the brim with champers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas now has its very own gin

Work at Qantas? Noticed a few of your colleagues staggering around the office and slurring their words? Discover the cause here.

Share

CommentComments