28 July 2008

Goldfields experiencing tourism boom in WA

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Tourism Western Australia released figures showing the Goldfields region is experiencing a tourism boom despite a state-wide depression, reports The West.

The latest statistics show a 31 per cent increase in tourists to the Goldfields region of Western Australia in this year to March, reaching 124,600 visitors. 

Kalgoorlie is also reeling in increased tourism numbers this year, with Mayor Ron Yuryevich telling reporters a record number of air passengers passed through last year, "and this year it looks set to hit 250,000 people."

Australia’s Golden Outback’s chief executive Jac Eerbeck said although the total trend of tourism in Western Australia is in decline, the Golden Outback is starting to see the benefits from the hard work of local tourism bodies. 

"Overall, holiday visitor numbers in all of WA fell 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to March 2008," he said.  "Australia’s Golden Outback went totally against this trend, with an overall increase of 12.8 per cent in holiday visitors for the entire region, over the same 12 months."

The Esperance region is also benefiting from increased expenditure to tourism marketing, seeing an increase of 23,300 holidaymakers to the region during the same period. 

Chairman for Tourism WA Kate Lamont said the increase of tourism to the Goldfields was crucial for the development of the local community, employment opportunities, and environmental protection.  "It is an essential industry in the Goldfields and WA, and last financial year generated nearly $6 billion and employed 6 per cent of the workforce," she added.

To further increase the numbers of tourists to the country, the Australian Immigration Department has designed an electronic visa application process for international visitors to Australia.  The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) has been coined the most efficient visa system in the world.  By using an ETA visa, all stamps, visa labels, and application forms are replaced with an electronic authorisation which is attached to the visitor’s passport. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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