$30 million for business, sporting and entertainment events to attract thousands of visitors
An extra $1 million for an expanded Chinese New Year package aimed at building further links with China and neighbouring countries
Western Australia will attract thousands of visitors by hosting even more major business, sporting and entertainment events, thanks to a $30 million investment in events funding in the 2016-17 State Budget.
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the events funding would help Perth Stadium stage blockbuster events and allowed the Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) to attract more conventions.
“An extra $19 million will help attract big events to activate the new Perth stadium; $3.15 million will be reinstated to the Perth Convention Bureau events budget, and the PCB will also receive an extra $7.55 million on top of that,” Mr Barnett said.
“Unprecedented levels of public and private investment have resulted in some huge changes, which are making Perth and WA a great place to visit.
“More than 2,000 new hotel rooms will be built by 2018, as will the 60,000-seat Perth Stadium, therefore we need to work hard to maximise these investments.”
As part of an expanded $1 million Chinese New Year package, a program aimed at bringing more young professionals and international students to WA from China and neighbouring countries will also be developed.
Treasurer and Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said the expanded Chinese New Year program would build cultural understanding and enhance tourism, education and investment links between WA, China and neighbouring countries.
“This initiative will include a program that aims to attract young professionals from China and neighbouring countries to visit WA, as well as a youth-focused program for children, young people and international students,” Dr Nahan said.
“The Liberal National Government’s investment in tourism is not just focused on events and marketing, but on quality tourism infrastructure and facilities which allow travellers to enjoy our breathtaking natural and environmental attractions.”
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said a $20 million investment through Royalties for Regions would soon see construction start on the Kalbarri Skywalk, a spectacular viewing platform overlooking the Murchison River gorge. Major upgrades to lookouts, roads and visitor infrastructure was also underway.
“To encourage families to experience the extraordinary beauty of local parks and wildlife, $14.8 million over the next two years would be invested to further upgrade nature-based campgrounds and caravanning facilities in shires across the State, through the Western Australian Caravan and Camping Action Plan and Parks for People initiatives,” Mr Redman said.
“It is important that event and tourism investment continues in WA’s regions to ensure growth in the local tourism industries. Tourists spend nearly $9 billion a year in WA, about half of that in the regions making it a vital component of regional WA’s economy.”
New marine parks at Roebuck Bay, Horizontal Falls and the North Kimberley will be established this year, and work will continue to create the largest national park in Australia, which will include the entire Mitchell Plateau.
Mr Barnett said these parks would help build the Kimberley’s reputation as a world-class holiday destination for visitors wanting to experience one of the last untouched environments on the planet.
There are now more than 100,000 people in WA with significant links to China