Perth banks on fresh appeals, improved air access to charm Asian markets

Perth Region Tourism Organisation (Destination Perth) is placing a host of new and refreshed destination experiences and products in the spotlight as it works to bring back travellers from critical Asian markets.

In an interview with TTG Asia, Tracey Cinavas-Prosser, CEO of Destination Perth, said travel and tourism stakeholders across the Perth region “have not stood still” even as the pandemic decimated international tourism.

The Matagarup Bridge Zip+Climb is one of many new experiences available now in Perth (photo by Karen Yue)

As local travel and tourism stakeholders evolved their offerings to engage the domestic market in the absence of foreign visitors, a slew of fresh experiences was created to present opportunities to enjoy the destination in a new light.

“Every experience that is successful with the locals, which is the hardest market to please since they think they know everything about the destination, will 100 per cent work for the international traveller,” she said.

Some of the new attractions in Perth and her surrounds include the Matagarup Bridge Zip+Climb; an expanded series of Swan Valley Wine Cruises operated by Captain Cook Cruises; a rejuvenated and expanded Sandalford Wines vineyard in the Swan Valley; and the FOMO lifestyle development in Fremantle. 

Destination Perth is echoing Tourism Western Australia’s Adventure Awaits campaign, which bears creative assets showcasing wide-open spaces, incredible landscape and unique tourism experiences. 

Cinavas-Prosser: accessibility within Western Australia will continually be improved to enable travellers to explore more destinations across the state

Cinavas-Prosser shared: “The most significant positive change to Perth over the pandemic years has been the improved access to nature, open spaces and wellness. People are now looking at their holiday plans and thinking about the things they can do in great, open spaces. Therefore, I think adventure tourism will be the key for (our business recovery).”

Cinavas-Prosser said the spirit of adventure could be defined in various ways: “It could mean finding that amazing restaurant that you’ve always wanted to go to, or ziplining down the Matagarup Bridge. It could also be hiking down a trail in the Swan Valley.

“Adventure could be many things, but for all of these things, people are looking for something different, fresh air and less congestion. Perth can satisfy all these desires, as the city has access to abundant wildlife and nature which are at our doorstep.”

Availability of new experiences is especially critical, as Perth enjoys a high repeat visitation rate from Asia. On average, 71 per cent of international visitors to Perth have visited Australia before. Singapore has the highest repeat visitation averaging 87 per cent, followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong at more than 75 per cent.

Naturally, these loyal Asian markets are attracting keen attention from Destination Perth.

“We know that they will keep coming back, but we also know that access is paramount. Accessibility to Western Australia and to the state’s regions will continue to be a priority as we work to rebuild demand,” said Cinavas-Prosser.

Since the reopening of Western Australia’s international borders in March, air connectivity with Asia is returning. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines now fly 17 and five weekly flights to Perth respectively. Thai Airways resumed its Bangkok–Perth services on July 5. Qantas will reconnect Perth with Jakarta from November 30, beginning with three flights per week.

The state government will also continue to focus on improving connectivity within Western Australia, which will encourage travellers to “expand their horizons to visit our unique regions”.

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