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.
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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