101 Kimberley and Pilbara businesses have secured funding from the McGowan Government’s $8.7 million Tourism Business Survival Grants program.
North-West tourism operators secured more than one third of the 266 grants allocated to Western Australian businesses – recognising the particular challenges the Kimberley and Pilbara tourism sectors have faced during COVID-19.
The initiative is the second round of the McGowan Government’s $14.4 million Tourism Recovery Program, and is designed to support the State’s tourism businesses which will be impacted longer as a result of COVID-19.
While much of the State is enjoying a tourism boom as Western Australians holiday at home, the Kimberley and Pilbara regions’ remoteness and reliance on out-of-State visitors continues to cause challenges for the industry.
The program is providing grants of $15,000-$100,000 to help tourism operators sustain and grow their businesses in the current environment – to cover fixed costs and overheads, purchase business materials and services, and shift focus to the domestic market.
Australia’s North West region stretches from Onslow to Kununurra, covering the Kimberley and Pilbara regions and includes some of Western Australia’s much loved icons such as the Karijini National Park, the Gibb River Road, the Bungle Bungle Range and Cable Beach.
The Tourism Recovery Program has provided wide support to the regions and sectors most impacted by COVID-19, with 70 per cent of all applicants successful in receiving funding.
Over $4 million in leftover funding from the Tourism Recovery Fund has been reallocated to the Tourism Business Survival Grants program – more than doubling the original $4 million allocation.
A full list of successful Tourism Business Survival Grants program recipients will be available from 8am today (October 5) at https://www.tourism.wa.gov.au
As stated by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
“The North-West’s tourism sector has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 – with its remoteness and previous reliance on out-of-State visitors meaning its recovery will take longer and require more support.
“That’s why over a third of all Survival Grants have gone to businesses in the Kimberley and Pilbara. There is a real need to protect businesses that offer these unique and bucket list-type experiences that elevate our tourism potential.
“These grants will help businesses which previously relied on international tourists to pivot to the local market to take advantage of the high numbers of Western Australians travelling locally.
“This initiative will complement other measures to boost local visitation to the north, including the Wander out Yonder campaign, regional flight deals to Broome and Kununurra, and the tour and experiences voucher program.
“We are continuing to work on further initiatives to support the Kimberley and Pilbara tourism sectors as they look to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”