This morning I held a forum with small businesses and tourism operators in the Swan Valley, hosted by the City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino, and discussed what the Commonwealth can do to lift tourism in this dynamic region.
Following on from a Swan Valley Showcase at Parliament House in Canberra in June, I met local food and wine producers, brewers, restaurateurs, tour operators and transport companies as well as the Swan Chamber of Commerce and the Malaga & Districts Business Association.
The message was clear: The tourism sector is well-placed to deliver jobs growth to Western Australia.
But this vibrant sector needs greater government support in areas like domestic tourism marketing and research to provide key data to business, government and investors.
The Government also needs a designated Minister for Tourism.
Latest figures shows that international tourism to Western Australia grew just 1.22% in the year ending June, 2015, compared to a national average of 11.8%.
Tourism supports at least one million jobs nationwide, including 94,000 in WA.
Attendees at today’s forum called for funding for the Perth Airport Link, money for which was included in the 2013 Labor Government Budget but cut by the Coalition upon taking office, along with all public transport funding across the nation.
A Labor Government will treat tourism with the seriousness it deserves as a major provider of jobs and income to Australia.