Faced with falling footfalls of Chinese tourists, Western Australia has devised a grand plan to woo Chinese by making Perth, the hub of Chinese New Year Celebrations.
It is the brainchild of Premier Colin Barnett, who wanted to boost his Government’s tourism earnings. Accordingly, in the new State Budget, a funding package has been created to make Perth a centrepiece of Chinese celebrations.
Barnett, who took up the tourism portfolio in the latest Cabinet reshuffle, said the Government would pump in $30 million towards events funding, reports The West Australian.
According to sources, the package will have $19 million for “blockbuster” events at Perth stadium in Burswood. The Perth Convention Bureau will get $10.7 million. More than One million dollars will be spent on preparations to make Perth a regional destination for the Chinese New Year.
According to Tourism WA figures, the percentage of Chinese visitors to Western Australia declined from 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent from Dec 2014 to Dec 2015.
Taking a dig at the WA government, Shadow tourism minister Paul Papalia said the Government was copying Labor, which had promised to fund the PCB to the tune of $5 million a year. Papalia blamed the government for its failure in investing properly in marketing WA brand abroad.
The WA government is determined to revive its China exposure that dipped after the mining boom. This time, the government is pinning hopes on China for its broad involvement in tourism and property investment.
The 9 News quoted WA Treasurer Mike Nahan who said the Lunar New Year celebrations in the Northbridge entertainment district attracted 80,000 people in February. He said the new plan will be to expand the celebrations with more functions at hotels and Crown Casino. He also cited the favourable climate factor. During the Lunar New Year, Perth will be having summer whereas it will be winter in China.
The WA government also wanted more Chinese footprint in the property sector. Noting that Victoria and NSW’s economies are thriving on real estate investment and sale of apartments, with 30 percent of them being purchased by Chinese and other overseas investors, he said, Perth’s apartments are not fully tapped by Chinese investors.