The Nationals Western Australia $610 million commitment to increase destination marketing and regional events will drive economic activity and support hospitality jobs in the state, according to industry association Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).
The funding package announced by the Nationals will provide $200 million for tourism infrastructure works, $125 million for tourism marketing, and $75 million for regional events over a five-year period if re-elected at next month’s state election.
“Tourism and hospitality is one of the nation’s super growth industries. As mining slows, there is a real opportunity to diversify the state’s economic base through tourism,” said R&CA CEO John Hart.
“For every dollar spent in tourism, a further 90 cents are generated elsewhere in the economy. This drives economic activity and job creation in regional and metropolitan WA. But real investment is needed in infrastructure, promotion and major events to incentivise travel and encourage visitors to spend in local businesses.
“The industry requires certainty of funding for Tourism WA to aid their own investment decisions. It cannot simply be a cash splash to secure votes. Sustained, long-term investment is needed to grow this $10 billion industry.”
Hart said the National’s commitment to reduce payroll tax for small business was also a key priority outlined in R&CA’s Serving a Strong Economy election priorities document.
“The payroll tax threshold has not kept pace with wage growth in WA. It acts as a barrier to employment growth and business expansion. As the largest employer in the tourism industry, cafes and restaurants will be significant benefactors of tax reform.”