WA tourism needs retail reform

28 November 2018

Tourism Council WA supports calls from the business community for the deregulation of shopping hours in line with other States to meet the expectations and needs of visitors.

In 2017-18, international visitors to Australia spent $3.8 billion exclusively on retail shopping. Visitors also go shopping for pleasure, with 77% of international visitors to Australia, and up to 86% of visitors from China, undertaking shopping for pleasure during their trip.

“Shopping is a big part of the visitor experience, and people travelling away from home are reliant on retail outlets for clothing and goods which they do not have with them,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.

“Visitors from the east coast and overseas have reasonable expectations of retail hours and are often shocked to find they cannot shop when they want to when they come to WA.

“Visitors are more likely to be travelling on weekends or public holidays, with current regulation making it hardest to access retail experiences on the days visitors need it most.

“We need a complete re-think on retail trading hours in this State and this should begin with the State Government reviewing its decision to restrict usual retail trading hours this Christmas.”

Mr Hall said retail outlets, attractions and leisure experiences were key to activating public spaces.

“Many precincts, such as Perth’s CBD, are empty when the shops are closed. We cannot continue to rely on cafes and bars to inject life into public spaces.”

- Ends –