The campaign for Australians to take local holidays while overseas getaways are off-limits is struggling to catch on, if a local tourism survey is indicative.
Business in Western Australian tourist hotspots nosedived by three quarters during the July school holidays compared with the same period last year, according to figures released by the WA Tourism Council on Monday.
WA closed its borders to the rest of the nation and subdivided the state into a series of regions with checkpoints when the coronavirus pandemic first struck in March.
While it remains closed to the rest of Australia as the eastern states battle a second wave of COVID-19, WA residents are free but apparently reluctant to travel around their home state.
Business in Western Australian tourist hotspots nosedived by three quarters during the July school holidays. Pictured: A quokka on Rottnest Island in Perth
The north west received a tourism drop of 73 per cent. The region includes attractions such as Cable Beach in Broome, where visitors can take camel rides (pictured)
The north west, focused on Broome, includes attractions like national parks, pristine beaches and sunset camel rides, was the hardest hit area with a drop of 73 per cent.
Perth received 62 per cent less visitors, and tourism to outback areas fell by 48 per cent.
However the south west of the state – with attractions such as the famous Ningaloo Reef, the bubblegum coloured water at Hutt lagoon – saw a six per cent increase.
The survey also showed the demand for tour and transport operators declined by 61 per cent, and attractions, visitor centres and specialty retail fell by 30 per cent.
Pictured: Hamersley Gorge in Karijini National Park. The park, in the stat’s north-west, was negatively affected by declining tourism
The shoreline at Ningaloo Reef in Exmouth received a six per cent increase in tourism in July
On the other hand, self-catered accommodation profits increased by 18 per cent and hosted accommodation businesses, such as Airbnb, increased by 32 per cent.
Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the results showed local holidaymakers were opting for cheaper getaways easily accessed by car.
‘While there has clearly been some pent-up demand for intrastate travel, those visitors are not travelling and spending in the same way as out-of-state visitors,’ he said.
‘We encourage Western Australians to consider travelling to parts of WA they’ve never visited before and to book local tours and experiences, as well as accommodation.’
Western Australia famously closed its borders to the rest of the nation at the beginning of the pandemic. Pictured: an empty Perth airport during the pandemic
But state Premier Mark McGowan was disappointed with the Tourist Council’s comments, urging the body to be ‘a bit more positive’.
‘We’re going through a pandemic,’ he said on Monday.
‘We can’t have people from the east come in, we can’t have international tourists come in.
‘We’re advertising massively in intrastate advertising campaigns and all the feedback we’re getting is there’s been huge take up around Western Australia.’
He also said the state was working on creating more regional flight deals to places like Exmouth and Esperance for locals.
Source: Daily Mail Australia | News Colony