South coast, Margaret River top tourism list

Albany Advertiser
Tourists out from Augusta looking for humpback whales.
Camera IconTourists out from Augusta looking for humpback whales. Credit: WA News

WA’s southwest has beaten out exotic locations including Fiji, The Cook Islands and the Philippines to top the list of places to visit in the Asia-Pacific in 2019.

Margaret River and southern WA took top honours in Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia Pacific list for this year, with the review giving top marks for the Taste Great Southern event.

“Now, 17-hour direct flights from London to capital city Perth put it at Europe’s fingertips,” it said.

“Adding to the argument are coveted food and culture-amped festivals, Gourmet Escape to Truffle Kerfuffle and Taste Great Southern.

“There’s also amazing surf, whales aplenty and DIY coastal hikes with paved sections, improving accessibility for all.”

It is the first time an Australian location has taken the top spot in the list’s 15-year existence.

Albany mayor Dennis Wellington said the recognition put the Great Southern among Melbourne, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef for must-visits in Australia.

“(People) are now asking ‘what’s next’,” he said.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia told The West Australian the exposure would “give the region even more exposure in our key international markets, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong”.

Southern Japan, northern New Zealand and Singapore were also on the list.

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