State of the Industry - March Quarter 2023


The March Quarter 2023 saw a slowing in the post COVID recovery in WA tourism. Net business activity was 7%. While a positive result, this was down from the Sept Qtr 2022 peak result of 22%. Net business activity remained positive across all regions and sectors, except in the Kimberley.

Business activity was no longer driven by the return of interstate visitors, holiday or VFR markets. International visitors activity did not increase and intrastate business activity was in significantly weaker, indicating a return to pre-COVID intrastate travel levels. Only festivals and events showed stronger activity than the previous quarter.

Positive factors changed significantly and included destination visitation, weather and digital presence as top factors for the first time since the start of COVID. Critically increases in prices and rates remained a key positive factor.

Negative factors included declining destination visitation, weaker economy and declining consumer confidence. Cost of travel remained an issue but not as severe as previously. For the first time since COVID staffing was not a key negative impact.

Businesses continue to increase prices in response to rising costs particularly fuel, staffing and food.
Expected future activity was also positive, with forward bookings, investment, staffing and confidence at high levels but not as positive as 2022.

Tourism businesses are continuing to recover but at much slower pace. Pent up interstate and VFR demand has reduced. Revenue is being driven by price increases rather than visitation, and signs of a weaker economy and declining consumer confidence have emerged.

Join or login for full access to member content