Shadow Tourism Minister calls on Saffioti to keep WA tourist attractions open

Daniel HockingManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Shadow Tourism Minister Louise Kingston has called on the State Government and Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti to “step in” and keep WA’s tourism attractions open.
Camera IconShadow Tourism Minister Louise Kingston has called on the State Government and Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti to “step in” and keep WA’s tourism attractions open. Credit: Daniel Hocking

Shadow tourism minister Louise Kingston has called on Tourism Minister and Deputy Premier Rita Saffioti to “step in” and help keep WA’s premier tourist attractions open amid a push to partially close some over safety and cultural concerns.

Mrs Kingston says operators of some of WA’s prime attractions need the support of Ms Saffioti to “remove any uncertainty” around the future of the attractions and the business they bring to WA.

“WA is a treasure worth sharing, with some of the nation’s premier tourism experiences right here in our own spectacular backyard,” she said.

“WA tour operators need Minister Saffioti to step in and remove any uncertainty facing these tourism icons.”

She also made note of the revenue and support that spending of tourists visiting the State gave to local businesses and the potential effect of reducing the number of tourist attractions on smaller businesses nearby.

“Visitors to WA spent over $17.3 billion in 2023, supporting thousands of local tour operators and businesses that contribute to the conservation and marketing of our greatest attractions,” she said. “Uncertainty can impact future bookings and create anxiety among tour operators, employees and those small businesses.”

Mrs Kingston raised concerns that the closure of tourism hot spots would cause stress for regional communities, as evidenced by the recent closure of the Gloucester and Bicentennial Tree climbs in the South West.

“Tour operators need certainty in a highly competitive industry, where they compete with major international players in an effort to attract tourists to WA,” she said.

“Our unique natural attractions like Horizontal Falls, Nature’s Window, Wave Rock and the Gloucester Tree give us a world-leading market advantage; these attractions in turn support the livelihoods of regional families, businesses and communities.”

“Rather than closing these attractions, the State Government and the Minister for Tourism needs to work to address any safety and cultural concerns and come up with a solution that ensures these attractions remain open for visitors to enjoy for years to come.”

She reaffirmed The Nationals WA’s commitment to delivering safe tourism experiences across the State, mentioning the Kalbarri Skywalk and redevelopment of the Albany Gap as examples.

“The Nationals WA have a track record of delivering some of WA’s most loved attractions and ensuring they’re safe for everyone to enjoy,” Mrs Kingston said.

“Projects like the Kalbarri Skywalk and the redevelopment of the Albany Gap view, funded through Royalties for Regions, have helped make these amazing sights even more accessible so that visitors can continue to enjoy these unique and amazing attractions.”

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