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WA Labor promises tourism boost as part of its campaign

If it wins office, the Labor Party for West Australia (WA) has said that it plans to increase funding to the Perth Convention Bureau (PCB) to boost tourism in the area.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan has said that there will be an extra $5 million (£2.6 million) in annual funding to the PCB in a bid to help not-for-profit organisations and to bring their conferences to WA, reports ABC Online.

By promising to do this, Mr McGowan will be reinstating the $5.3 million funding that was cut from the PCB by the state government.

Apart from payments from the government, the PCB also receives money from hospitality operators, which creates its budget overall.

The reason behind Mr McGowan's interest in increasing the amount that the government gives the PCB is for investment purposes because he says that for each dollar given to the bureau, $30 was generated in return for the benefit of the state.

Mr McGowan stated: "Your average business delegate to a convention spends four to five times what an ordinary tourist does in WA, that's why we need to invest in conventions and attract more conventions to [the area]."

Evan Hall, chief executive of Tourism Council WA, spoke of his support for the announcement made by Mr McGowan and said that the extra funding given to the PCB would generate $155 million in direct spending into the state each year.

Mr Hall added: "This will create 340 new jobs in the economy in areas like hotels, event management, retail … because we're bringing in high-yield business delegates."

Although Mr Hall would not say who his preference was for the tourism portfolio, he stipulated that it needed a "high calibre replacement".

Similarly, he projected that tourism would be a particular area of industry growth for the future of WA and therefore it would need a "senior minister" to make sure that this area of the country reaches a high level of "economic development".

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