Travellers in Western Australia spent a record $14 billion in 2022, more than $1.05 billion of which was spent by international visitors.
Tourist Research Australia’s latest statistics found visitors in WA spent $3.6 billion more in 2022 than the previous year. The record spending was also $500 million more than the record spending prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.
Tourists from India were the quickest to return, with visitor numbers just 5 per cent behind pre-pandemic levels.
Western Australia’s tourism Minister Roger Cook said, “WA is leading the nation in recovering both international and interstate visitors since opening its borders just over a year ago.”
“We’ve put a huge focus on reinvigorating our tourism industry over the past year and we’re delighted to see that all our efforts are paying off.”
“With our new global tourism brand Walking On A Dream, an incredible lineup of major events, 13 new direct flights to Perth and huge developments in our incredible natural assets and attractions, the eyes of the world are on WA.”
Out of the $14 billion, about $10.6 billion was spent during domestic overnight trips and $2.8 billion was spent during domestic day trips.
In 2022, more than $1.05 billion was injected into the economy by international visitors in WA.
That was up from $82 million spent by international travellers in 2021 when the border was still closed.
Nearly 380,000 international travellers visited WA between April and December 2022.
About half of the state’s international visitors were from the UK, Singapore, New Zealand and India.
Nearly half of the funds, or $6.8 billion, was spent across the regional economy. That included $2.84 billion in the South West, $1.75 billion in the north-west and almost $1.1 billion in the Coral Coast.
Minister Cook said it was fantastic to have set a new record for tourism spending.
“This is a huge injection into the WA economy, creating jobs and revenue right across the State but we have ambitions to do much, much more,” he said.
“These results show just how much momentum we have as a sought-after tourism destination. WA is one of the hottest tourism spots in the world at the moment.”
The Australian Hotels Association released a statement saying the state’s hotels and hospitality venues directly benefited from the record tourism spending.
Chief executive Bradley Woods said despite the expenditure there were still significant opportunities for growth.
“Following last year’s border reopening, WA’s tourism sector has rebounded rapidly, which is outstanding news for WA’s hoteliers, publicans, restaurateurs, and the tens of thousands of staff they employ.”
“In late 2019, WA was enjoying record levels of visitors from interstate and overseas, so it is reassuring to see that we are on a trajectory to return to these levels once airline capacity improves and airfare pricing stabilises.”
“Today’s data reflects the concerted efforts by state and federal governments, Tourism WA and Tourism Australia to ensure the tourism, accommodation and hospitality sector could bounce back strongly after prolonged border closures.”