WA’s tourism industry is one of our biggest employers and has also been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Ordinarily, WA’s tourism industry contributes $12.2 billion in revenue yearly and employs 109,000 people across the state – the large majority in micro and small businesses. In regional areas the industry accounts for up to 26% of total employment, often making up the backbone of remote communities’ economies. Ordinarily, the tourism sector is as large as the mining sector.
The impact of COVID-19 has seen industry revenue decrease by $3.1 billion and more than 30,000 jobs have been lost so far – one-third of the industry.
Clean State is proposing a range of measures that will create over 5000 local jobs for West Australians. Our package includes:
- An urgent Conservation stimulus package for tourist regions particularly hard hit by COVID-19 including Albany (Kinjarling), Denmark, Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton, Wyndham-East Kimberley, Broome, Shark Bay, and Exmouth creating 2000 full-time jobs. ($75m, with matched funding from the Commonwealth)
- A marketing campaign encouraging West Aussies to support local tourism and book a trip in their backyard this year
- An Energy Efficiency & Rooftop Solar package to 10,000 tourism businesses to eliminate their power bills overnight, creating local economic stimulus.
- Infrastructure upgrades in national parks and reserves, and a funding package for local artists to update and upgrade signage at key tourist and cultural sites.
- Build more walkways, bike paths and touring trail circuits across all five tourist regions to match the massive trend uptick in hiking and cycle tourism.
- An immediate funding boost to local tourist information centres and visitor facilities for upgrades to facilities, exhibitions, interpretative signage.
- New, zero-carbon transport infrastructure in and between major destinations, including trackless trams and electric buses.
- Supporting and promoting citizen-science travel opportunities that deliver meaningful experiences to guests and leverage volunteers into conservation efforts.
- Provide additional seed funding of $300,000 for each of the state’s 5 Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) to help identify and implement eco-tourism product development projects.
- Funding for permanent monitoring of tourism-related GHG emissions at the UN World Tourism Organisation’s ‘Sustainable Tourism Observatory’ here in WA in order to trace well-informed mitigation strategies.
What would it cost?
The WA Government has already allocated $22m to tourism as part of its 2019 budget. A lot of this money was focused on international destination marketing and development. We’re suggesting this funding be re-allocated to target internal travel instead.
In addition, funding of $22m was allocated to the creation and ongoing management of parks and reserves, which should be doubled to $44m, to fund new and upgraded infrastructure and facilities, particularly in advance of substantially more local tourists while international travel remains closed.
A total of $190.7 million is proposed in this package, including:
- $75m for the Conservation Stimulus package (assuming co-funding from the Commonwealth government)
- $50m for 10,000 Energy Efficiency and Solar power upgrades to operators
- $22m additional for Infrastructure upgrades in Parks and reserves ($22m already allocated)
- $35m for Trails and Infrastructure and Interpretive/signage upgrades including a local artist package
- $5m for Local Tourist Information Centres and Visitor facilities
- $1.5m for Regional Tourism Operators
- $2m for Citizen Science promotion; and
- $200,000 Department resources to investigate zero carbon