New tourism businesses to expand experiences for summer visitors

Tourists have reaffirmed their passion for Rottnest Island with record island visitation numbers for the second half of 2022.
  • Record-breaking visitor numbers for Rottnest Island
  • Focus on attracting exciting new activities for visitors and increasing appreciation of Aboriginal culture via call for new tourism ventures
  • New opportunity for lease of prime location commercial premises for retail or recreational offering

Tourists have reaffirmed their passion for Rottnest Island with record island visitation numbers for the second half of 2022.

Total visitation statistics rebounded to more than 570,000 in 2022, with intrastate and international visitors returning to Rottnest in numbers.

Visitation records were broken in summer, with 119,554 visiting the island in January 2023, up 24 per cent from January 2020.

Expressions of interest (EOI) are now being sought for experienced operators to bring exciting new recreational businesses to Rottnest Island for the next summer season.

The EOI includes specific calls for recreational leisure and water-based activities and experiences during the summer of 2023/24 from 1 November, as well as Aboriginal cultural tourism offerings and commercial premises for retail and recreational businesses.

The opening on the new EOI follows the success of two Rottnest Island-related businesses being recognised at the Australian Tourism Awards in Sydney.

Sealink WA won gold for being the best Major Tour and Transport Operator in Australia. The Hike Collective, which offers island experiences as well other Western Australian nature-based tours, won gold for being the best in Adventure Tourism and silver in the Tour & Transport category.

Further information on the EOI process is available at and applications close at 4pm AWST 17 May 2023.

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:

"Record visitor numbers continue to show that Rottnest is a favourite destination for local, interstate and the now returning international visitors.

"Visitors have embraced the island's new summer businesses, including Kuld Ice Creamery at the Basin, Boost at Sommerville, Travelling T Shirts at Kingston Barracks and the Island Gypsy located in the iconic Salt Store.

"Expanding the range of recreational, tourism and retail offerings this summer will help the island to remain an exciting and interesting destination for visitors.

"This announcement is about seeking fun new activities including new water-based experiences and Aboriginal cultural experiences.

"The call for new businesses on Rottnest Island comes at a great time, with visitors looking for recreational activities, food and beverage offerings and Aboriginal experiences that acknowledge the cultural significance of the island.

"We have seen that the free Welcome to Country activities have been very popular on the Island and hope that Aboriginal tourism businesses consider offering cultural experiences this summer."

Minister's office - 6552 6500