A rise in international tourists has boosted Perth businesses by more than $130 million. Photo: Erin JonassonExtra international tourists flocking to WA have boosted Perth businesses by more than $133 million over the past 12 months.
Tourism Council WA reported the eight per cent surge in international tourists into the state had pushed the overall annual tourism contribution past $2.3 billion.
Tourists from Malaysia and Singapore led the charge on the back of a low Aussie dollar and the launch of new budget airlines with visitors from the US also increasing.
Latest data from an international visitor survey for the year ending December 2014 showed an extra 61,300 international visitors came to Western Australia.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the figures showed tourism growth was creating jobs and bolstering the state economy.
“As the economic influence of the mining sector declines, tourism is emerging as a powerful sector in terms of job creation and economic input,” Mr Hall said.
“This boost in international tourists means there are more jobs for coach drivers, extra shifts for waitresses and more new small businesses giving jobs to local people.”
“The tourism industry is a valuable contributor to employment in this state, creating 94,000 jobs for Western Australians.”
Meanwhile, it will be easier for visitors to immediately immerse themselves in the state’s South West with the Barnett government announcing on Saturday the $59.7 million expansion of Busselton Regional Airport.
The announcement was made in Busselton by the Premier Colin Barnett and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.
“New infrastructure at the airport will enable new interstate airline routes that will drive wider economic growth in the South West,” the premier said.
The airport announcement was welcomed by the South West Development Commission, which played a key role in building the case for the expansion of the facility.
SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks said the expansion of the regional airport was identified as a top priority in the South West Regional Blueprint, a strategy for growing the region over the next 35 years.
The blueprint will be officially launched on July 1. Follow WAtoday on Twitter
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