Albany tourism breaking records and enticing visitors
Media Statement from Hon Mark McGowan
- Visitors to Albany have grown by 26 per cent from March 2018 to March 2019
- Albany REX air route has record-breaking increase with 61,500 passengers since July 2018
- Positive feedback means REX will drop Community Fare advance purchase period from 60 days to 30 days across all routes creating more flexibility and opportunities
- World-class entertainment centre and international art installations encouraging tourists
- Southern Western Australia named as Lonely Planet's number one Asian-Pacific destination for 2019
Premier Mark McGowan visited Albany to welcome the news it is becoming one of Western Australia's hottest tourism destinations, as overnight visitors to the region increased by 26 per cent between March 2018 and March 2019.
International visitors rose from 44,100 to 51,400 between March 2018 and March 2019, an increase of 17 per cent.
Overnight domestic visitors rose from 346,000 to a whopping 441,000, a massive increase of 27 per cent.
Albany, already well known for its important role in Anzac history, is fast becoming a popular tourism destination with new accommodation and award-winning eateries encouraging interstate and international visitors.
A new 108-room Hilton Garden Inn is currently under construction on the Albany waterfront. Built by Pindan, it will create 120 jobs during construction and 25 operational jobs when complete.
Local business Ocean and Paddock was just voted Western Australia's best fish and chips at the WA Seafood Industry Awards and are now in the running to be named the national champions.
REX's Albany air route experienced a record-breaking increase in passenger numbers since July last year with almost 61,500 passengers.
In response to community feedback, REX has decided to drop the Community Fare advance purchase period from 60 days to 30 days across all routes, providing greater flexibility and more opportunities for those seeking a relaxing getaway closer to home.
Albany as part of the Southern Western Australia region and Margaret River has been named the number one destination on Lonely Planet's 'Best in Asia Pacific 2019' list. It was recognised and selected by Lonely Planet's team of independent travel experts for its breathtaking beaches, long stretching coastline, award-winning wineries, breweries, restaurants, tall-tree forests and abundant farmland.
Albany continues to have access to world-class facilities and to help attract visitors to the region, the McGowan Government has delivered almost $2 million to ensure the Albany Entertainment Centre can continue to operate, with funding secured until 2022.
In 2018-19, the Albany Entertainment Centre attracted 27,643 people over 148 events.
More recently, the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour art installation by internationally renowned UK artist Bruce Munro brought 29,453 visitors to the South-West region.
The McGowan Government has also allocated $2.5 million to upgrade visitor facilities at the Greens Pool-Elephant Rock precinct in Denmark, less than an hour's drive away.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Albany is a wonderful place to visit it's not hard to see why it's become more popular and earned itself an accolade with Lonely Planet.
"With a 26 per cent increase in overnight visitors between March 2018 and March 2019, Albany is fast becoming one of WA's popular tourist towns.
"It's pleasing to see there has been a significant boost in visitor numbers as these all contribute to ensuring we see more people in restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and entertainment venues - which creates jobs and stimulates the local economy.
"We are also ensuring the future of the Albany Entertainment Centre and upgrading visitor facilities at the nearby Greens Pool-Elephant Rock precinct in Denmark.
"With an increase in international and interstate visitors to Albany, this shows our Tourism Action Plan for WA is working."
Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson:
"I've lived in Albany most of my life and I know how much our town has to offer.
"The increase in overnight visitors provides a boost to the local economy, helping sustain local jobs and local businesses.
With more accommodation options and award-winning eateries, Albany is fast becoming a must visit town at the most southern point of our State."