WA's visitor economy grows to almost $18 billion

Western Australia's visitor economy has broken yet another record with $17.9 billion spent in the State by travellers in the Year Ending (YE) March 2024.
  • Latest international and national visitor statistics reveal record-breaking visitor spend of $17.9 billion, up from $13.5 billion pre-COVID
  • China reclaims top spot as WA's biggest market for visitor spend
  • WA outperforms all other states in total visitor spend compared to 2019

Western Australia's visitor economy has broken yet another record with $17.9 billion spent in the State by travellers in the Year Ending (YE) March 2024.

New figures released by Tourism Research Australia overnight show WA's tourism recovery has led to a spending increase of $200 million compared to YE December 2023, which is $4.4 billion or 32 per cent ahead of the 2019 pre-pandemic figure.

Another spend milestone has been achieved, with international visitors surpassing the 2019 value for the first time, reaching $2.5 billion or three per cent greater than the pre-pandemic value.

These results have been fuelled by a boost in spend by visitors from China, with the country reclaiming its pre-pandemic position as the number one market for Western Australia when ranked by visitor spend.

The spend for visitors from China reached $303 million in YE March 2024, up from $230 million in YE December 2023, and ahead of the second largest visitor spend market, Singapore, by $45 million.

Chinese visitors are returning to WA at a faster rate than the national average, with the volume of Chinese visitors to the State now just 10 per cent behind 2019 figures, compared to 49 per cent nationally.

The uplift in spend follows the special flights between Shanghai and Perth, which operated for four weeks between January and February 2024.

It also comes a month after China Southern Airlines announced resumption of its non-stop service between Guangzhou and Perth from November 2024, which is further expected to boost tourism with an additional 41,000 inbound seats to WA each year.

Results for WA also show it was the top performing state in Australia in terms of total visitor spend versus 2019, with growth of 32 per cent ahead of the total national growth of 25 per cent, and the top performing state in terms of overnight visitors compared to 2019.

Tourism Research Australia's International and National Visitor Survey results are the official sources of visitor statistics for Australia, and can be viewed at: https://www.tra.gov.au/en/domestic/domestic-tourism-results.html

Comments attributed to Acting Tourism Minister John Carey:

"These remarkable new results show we are actually tracking ahead of target growth required to reach our goal of $25 billion in visitor spend per annum by 2033, as set out in the WA Visitor Economy Strategy.

"The return of China as our top international market is fantastic news and well timed as we get set to welcome our new non-stop connection with the country via Guangzhou later this year, which will no doubt see this market grow even more.

"These outstanding results show WA's global reputation as a destination with incredible tourism and hospitality experiences is attracting travellers from around the world."