Tourism WA office on the east coast

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Interstate visitation is tipped to increase after the State Government yesterday announced plans to establish a Tourism WA office on the east coast.

The announcement, which will see a Sydney-based office open for the first time in seven years, came after the first Tourism Industry Consortium was held last Friday.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said while options were still being considered about how the service would operate, the State Government would fund the office to represent Tourism WA and support work already happening with trade partners, including airlines, wholesalers and travel websites, travel trade training, and additional public relations services.

“Visitor attraction remains the State Government’s number one tourism priority — everything we are doing is about growing numbers to create jobs, develop business opportunities and diversify the economy,” he said.

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“The reality is, when it comes to Eastern State residents making holiday decisions, we are competing with other States and international locations like New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii,” he said.

“This decision will lead to a direct increase in visitors from the Eastern States to WA.”

Shadow tourism minister and Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, who has in the past called for an office to be set up in the east, welcomed the proposal but noted it was the previous Liberal government that suggested the idea.

“I welcome the new Government’s support for the policy the Liberal government took to the election,” she said.

“The appointment of a Tourism WA office is essential to ensure that Western Australia is effectively competing for our fair share of the tourism market and to ensure wholesalers and potential holidaymakers are aware of what Western Australia has become.”

Ms Mettam said it was essential on a local level that the Tourism WA office focused on promoting the Busselton and the Margaret River Region to the east coast market in preparation for the opening of the expanded Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport late next year.

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