Numbers add up for tourism

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

South West tourism experts are rejoicing after recent figures indicated an extra 373,000 people visited the region during the year ending March 2019.

The almost 400,000 visitor increase equated to a 13 per cent rise on the previous year, with the Bunbury Geographe area benefiting the most with a 30.1 per cent spike in international visitors.

“I am extremely excited to see positive growth in the BunGeo visitor economy,” Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership tourism marketing and development manager Anissa Williams said.

“With the establishment of the Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership in 2017, the region finally has a body to work with Australia’s South West to grow interstate and international visitation.”

At a region-wide level, expenditure was up more than 14 per cent with a $216 million increase courtesy of the almost 400,000 extra visitors, although the average expenditure was only $7 higher per person than the previous year.

In alignment with the tiny increase in expenditure was the average amount of nights spent in the region, up from 3.2 to 3.3.

Ms Williams said a number of projects and initiatives were in the pipeline to try and increase all of these figures for the region.

“Over the past two years, we have focused on developing stunning imagery, footage, itineraries and other assets to provide Australia’s South West with the tools to sell our region,” she said.

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said WA as a whole had secured a record number of visitors.

“This is good news for WA’s accommodation, tourism and hospitality industry and follows the recent international visitation data which showed a record number of visitors coming to WA for a holiday,” he said.

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