WA’s ailing economy is receiving a timely boost from the tourism and entertainment sectors, with Bankwest Spend Trends data showing overall business turnover topping pre-COVID levels.
Data showed average overall turnover grew by about 11 per cent each time WA restrictions were eased and, at mid-July, was up about 19 per cent on pre-COVID levels.
The latest growth came off the back of the continued recovery of the tourism sector, as West Australians embraced school holidays and the State Government’s plea to ‘wander out yonder’.
Turnover for hotels, motels and resorts in the Phase 4 period (27 June-19 July) surged 65 per cent against Phase 3 (6-26 June), as business also boomed for trailer parks/camping grounds (53%).
However, it was ‘Recreation Services’†, which includes Optus Stadium, that underpinned the growth, as Phase 4 turnover swelled an enormous 470 per cent against the Phase 3 period.
The result came as Perth’s hosting of an AFL hub combined with the State Government’s Phase 4 easing, returning live sport to Optus Stadium and allowing 30,000 people into the venue to see it.
The category was also bolstered by gyms, which benefitted from Phase 4 changes granting further freedoms to the venues, allowing them to operate unstaffed if cleaned regularly.
‘Personal Services’ entered the Top 5 growth sectors from Phase 3 to 4, with turnover lifting 46 per cent as businesses such as tattoo parlours and pet boarding services resumed.
Bankwest GM Analytics Simon Lewis-Jones said: “It’s great to see West Australians making the most of their opportunities, and these results are heartening for the state’s economic recovery.
“The situation in other parts of Australia is a sobering reminder of the gravity of this pandemic and I think these results reflect West Australians’ gratitude for the freedoms they’re afforded.
“What makes these results so promising to see is they show recovery for some of the hardest hit sectors, such as recreation services, which flatlined with a 100 per cent drop in turnover.
“The recovery of parts of the tourism sector is also positive, but it’s important to remember other businesses, such as travel agencies, remain significantly impacted and likely will for some time.
“These results are incredibly promising and important as West Australians get back on their feet, but we must remain vigilant for those still impacted and hope for an end to this pandemic soon.”