Western Australia is literally Walking on a Dream – also the state’s global brand launched in September 2022 – with a record A$14 billion (US$9.3 billion) tourism spend, its highest ever.
Western Australia’s highest-ever injection into the state economy is partly attributed to the strength of the Singaporean outbound market.
In an interview with TTG Asia during the Australian Tourism Exchange, Carolyn Turnbull, managing director, Tourism Western Australia, shared: “Singapore was one of the international markets that the Walking on a Dream brand was launched, and it was well received both by the media and trade partners. The Singapore market has rebounded really strongly, and I see it growing from strength to strength.”
Singapore was the second largest market before the pandemic, and it is staying firm as the second largest market post-lockdown. Meanwhile, travellers from the UK remain the top inbound market, while New Zealand and India take third and fourth place respectively. The India market also saw one of the “strongest recoveries”, Turnbull pointed out, with visitor numbers just five per cent behind pre-Covid levels.
Perth, the gateway to Australia, also benefits from the fact that Singapore’s Changi Airport is a well-connected hub. Turnbull added that the airlift between Singapore and Western Australia is “rebuilding very quickly”, and that “load factors are really strong”.
“We have 11 international markets globally, and whether you’re coming (to Perth) from Europe, London, or India, or even other parts of Asia, Singapore is the most preferred stopover point. Hence, the city-state is a key contributor and influencer in our whole tourism international strategy,” she elaborated.
Furthermore, with China recently scaling back on more Covid-related restrictions and more Chinese starting to travel, Turnbull opined that Singapore will continue to play an important role in connecting Chinese travellers to Western Australia, as there is currently a dearth of direct flights between Perth and China.
She shared that another key market in Asia is Japan, which will be buoyed by the return of ANA’s three-weekly-flights between Perth and Tokyo recommencing in October.
It was also interesting to find out that almost half of the record spend (around A$6.8 billion) was injected into Western Australia’s regions, buoyed by the Walking on a Dream campaign which heroes key regional locations such as the Ningaloo Reef, The Kimberley, and The Pinnacles of Nambung National Park.
Such regional dispersal is aided by escorted campervan tours run by Singapore-based travel agency Chan Brothers, a key distribution partner of Western Australia.
“This is one way of promoting Western Australia. Many Singaporeans have a driver’s license, but many don’t own a car. Plus, you can’t go very far in Singapore. Hence, we are promoting wide open spaces in Western Australia – road trips, caravans, and camping – as a unique experience for Singapore travellers.”
When asked how many tourists Tourism Western Australia is targeting this year, Turnbull said: “We have an ambitious strategy to double our tourism economy over the next 10 years, and it is tracking very well this year.”
She added that it was not all about “mass market numbers”, but ensuring that the state is attracting “high-yielding travellers” who are able to “spend longer and disperse further”, and to “embrace everything that Western Australia has to offer”.