TOURISM

IN SOUTH-WEST AUSTRALIA

‘Australia’s South West’ tourist region is WA’s most popular tourist destination outside of the metropolitan area and the undoubted jewel in the crown of the South West’s attractions are the forests. Visitor numbers are increasing and already forest national park campsites are often fully occupied in holiday seasons. We need more protected areas, promoted for their beauty and tranquillity, to keep pace with the demand, ensure that no particular areas are put under too much pressure from unsustainable numbers of visitors and to support a sustainable tourism industry in the south-west.

“This region generated $1,530 million from tourism in 2016, up 27% from the previous year. Three million tourists spent 12 million nights in the region in 2016.[1] Tourists would have made up a large portion of the 7.1 million visits to the SW forests in 2013.[2]

Given the enormous contribution of tourism to the region, not logging the forests could increase the attractiveness to tourists; even a small increase could have a substantial financial benefit.”

THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE 2016

The WA tourism industry directly employs some 64,000 people and accounts for a further 33,000 indirectly. The tourism industry offers considerable economic and social benefits to the south-west and in turn, the south-west forests support a broader tourism trade for the rest of the State.

It makes sense to protect the forests from an unsustainable, financially and environmentally costly logging industry and to instead promote and manage tourism in the forests to ensure that it is socially and economically beneficial, sustainable and has a light footprint on the forests it relies on.

[1] Tourism Western Australia (June 2016) Fast Facts Year Ending March 2016, p 16: http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Publications%20Library/Research%20and%20reports/
Fast%20Facts%20YE%20March%202016_Revised.pdf

[2] Conservation Commission of Western Australia (2013) Forest Management Plan 2014-2023, p 117.