Tourism raises toast to liquor reforms

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The local tourism industry is expected to benefit from liquor reforms announced by the State Government this week in Albany.

The changes allow accredited tourism operators to serve alcohol without a liquor licence.

Tourism businesses can now include alcohol as part of their service as long as the liquor is complimentary.

Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia was in Albany for the announcement and said it would be a boost for small-scale tourism.

“This will give a huge opportunity for a lot of small tourism operators to be able to provide a little bit of extra service to their customers and to diversify their range of offerings,” he said

“It is the first part of a significant change to liquor legislation that we will introduce later in the year which will liberalise the laws around liquor licensing.

“Tourism is a key financial driver in WA. It plays a significant role in diversifying the State's economy and creating new jobs.”

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall praised the regulation changes.

“This is a great announcement for the tourism industry — we’ve long wanted the ability to provide our guests with fantastic food and wine experiences that showcase what WA has to offer,” he said.

“With the removal of previous restrictions, tour operators will be able to offer great food and wine experiences featuring local produce without the costs and process of obtaining a liquor licence.”

Albany Whale Tours owner John Woodbury hopes the changes will help drive more demand for his business’ summer twilight cruises.

“We haven’t had regular sunset cruises and it’s the best time to be on the water and drift around,” he said.

“The add of champagne is the add of the bubbles of joy — we’re hoping people will take it on board as a great way to celebrate the oncoming Christmas and the end of work.”

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