Speaking at the Australian Wildlife Tourism Conference and at the Tourism Council WA, on Monday and Tuesday respectively, Chairman of Tourism Australia Tim Fischer has saluted the key contribution of Western Australia to our tourism performance. International visitors to WA directly spent 1.2 billion Australian dollars in 2005, an increase of 15% over the previous year. The United Kingdom market remains very strong at 25% of all international tourists into WA, Singapore next at 11% and New Zealand 9%.
Looking to the future, clearly there can be no complacency and I make the following points:
- Firstly, terrorism has been around in each decade since World War II, airline passengers are proving to be particularly resilient and the relatively safe destination of Australia is seen in a good light.
- Secondly, China is moving up as our big source of inbound tourists with a growth rate of 14%. The recent visit of the Chinese Chairman Shao was an extraordinary success helped by the strong relationship that exists between Minister Fran Bailey and Chairman Shao; it will be very good for further building our tourism from China. Again WA is set out to do well.
- Thirdly, every time the new international marketing campaign ads (So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?) are utilised there is a huge lift in the hits on Tourism Australia’s consumer website - australia.com, including a five fold increase in the United States. It is too early to benchmark in relation to conversion to tourists actually buying Australian trips but the signs look very good.
- Finally, under the Tourism Australia Act responsibility for employment of the managing director lies with the Board of Tourism Australia. The Board will be placing ads for a new Managing Director next weekend, through Watermark with applications closing at 12 noon on 31 August. I encourage the best and the brightest to apply.
Mr Fischer is visiting the west to prove that Tourism Australia is not Sydney-centric’ and will have a range of meetings but will also check out sustainability development on Rottnest Island (overnight on Monday night).