The recent state budget spelled good news for Esperance with $425 million being allocated towards WA tourism over the next five years.
Australia’s Golden Outback chief executive officer Marcus Falconer said there was now more flexibility in regards to what the funding had to spent on, which would benefit Esperance and other WA destinations.
“I think what the budget provides Tourism WA with is stability and a long term view of what funding they’ve got for the next five years,” he said. “Tourism WA is going to prioritize the draw-cards in the state, and I think we can say that Esperance is one of those that attracts a lot of attention. With the natural assets, stunning coastlines, the natural environment that Esperance has, an increase the amount of experiences it is offering visitors is a good news story.”
Mr Falconer said that yearly visitor figures for Esperance have been steadily increasing over the past five or more years.
“I’m really optimistic about the future for Esperance as a tourism destination. I’m going to make sure that Australia’s Golden outback plays it’s full part in being one of the partners that can help take it forward.”
Mr Falconer said the 2017 Tourism Australia consumer report found that the five key factors on our country’s tourism were safety, value for money, natural landscape and environment, coastal scenery, and food and drink.
“Those are the top five major demands, and Esperance fills those [last] three pretty well, so that’s encouraging,” he said.
Mr Falconer said that Tourism Australia had around 8 million followers on Facebook and around 2.6 million followers on Instagram, with Esperance often getting a mention.
“When you see the kangaroos hopping around Lucky Bay or a visitor taking a picture of Lake Hillier, that gets a lot of traction on social media.
“That can’t be underestimated, the power of the locals to provide that advocacy, to tell their friends and family about all the fantastic locations they go to in in their spare time.
“It’s not just about the social media or TV campaign, we have to continually evolve the experiences and services that people experience on the ground.
Mr falconer said Esperance had been enjoying time in the spotlight with it’s inclusion on various travel lists, making the top 10 for WA’s most ‘Instagrammable’ places, and earning a place on the Australian Monopoly board.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the industry was delighted that the election commitment was delivered and had the potential to create more than 2,300 jobs.