Western Australia’s state government has unveiled a new $30 million partnership to develop new air routes and attract new airlines to Perth, with increased capacity from China a top priority.
WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the partnership between Tourism Western Australia and Perth Airport, known as ‘Team Perth’, was part of the government’s two-year action plan to boost the state’s visitor economy.
Team Perth will regularly meet with airlines, with the combined funding to go towards destination marketing deals to help drive demand.
“Increasing the number of direct air routes into WA is critical if we are to grow the number of visitors coming to WA and help drive our tourism industry,” Mr Papalia said.
“This $30 million partnership and coordinated approach between the state government, through Tourism WA, and Perth Airport will help us attract new international air routes and airlines.”
Other opportunities being explored include new direct routes from Japan, India and Europe.
“I now call on our federal counterparts on both sides of politics to show their support and commit to growing the partnership and the western gateway.”
Recent initiatives to boost airline capacity by Perth Airport working with Qantas on a possible direct service to Johannesburg, an additional weekly flight to Jakarta operated by Garuda Indonesia, and increased capacity on China Southern’s Perth to Guangzhou route, as well as Cathay Pacific’s Perth to Hong Kong service.
China Eastern Airlines is also in discussions with Tourism WA and Perth Airport in regards to potentially trialling a Perth to Shanghai service.
The latest data from Tourism WA shows international visitation increased by 1.1 per cent in the year to March 31, but those visitors spent 8.8 per cent less than the previous corresponding 12-month period.
Visitor nights were down 6.1 per cent, with the average length of stay being 28 nights.
The top inbound markets to WA in the period were the United Kingdom, accounting for 15 per cent of travellers, Malaysia and Singapore with 11 per cent and the United States at 9 per cent.
Chinese travellers made up 6 per cent of the total international visitors to WA, Tourism WA said.