Tourism numbers mixed

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Peter Grigg is the new Amazing South Coast chief executive.
Camera IconPeter Grigg is the new Amazing South Coast chief executive. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Fresh figures from Tourism WA show a marked decline in tourism to Albany and Plantagenet in the past three years, but Denmark appears to be bucking the trend.

The figures reveal the City of Albany’s total overnight visitors suffered a 12.7 per cent drop in the past three years.

Albany received more than 489,000 visitors in 2016, but that number dipped to 427,000 last year.

The Shire of Plantagenet, meanwhile, recorded a 23.5 per cent decrease in total overnight visitors over same period.

Their 2016 figure of more than 57,000 visitors was 43,600 in 2018.

Amazing South Coast chief executive Peter Grigg said the region’s tourism operators should focus on increasing visitor spending, not just the total number of overnight visitors.

“The point that I like to stress is that when we get them here we need to give them reasons to spend their money and stay longer,” he said.

“What we can do better is obviously looking at products that people want to buy.

“Visitor numbers are very important, but getting them to stop and to spend money is what we need to do.”

Despite the decline in visitor numbers in Albany and Plantagenet, the Shire of Denmark went the other way with a 36.6 per cent increase in visitor numbers from 2016 to 2018, from 133,000 to 181,800.

A Tourism WA spokesman said the figures had been revised to align with the latest release of Australian Bureau of Statistics population projections and differed slightly from previously published estimates.

Mr Grigg said visitor numbers in Denmark were on the rise because of its unique tourism offerings.

“Denmark has always been seen as the traditional tourist town,” he said.

“They have great operators with great products.”

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