“Tourism plays a significant role in enhancing Western Australia’s economy and creating new jobs. In 2016 it contributed $10 billion in visitor spend to the State and currently generates around 109,000 jobs. The Pilbara boasts some of the world’s most ancient and extraordinary natural landscapes, and with the easing of construction for mining, this presents opportunities to further grow tourism in the region.”

Nathan Harding | Chairman, Tourism WA

Tourism

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906,700

visitors to
the Pilbara
annually

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4 nights

average time
leisure tourists
stay in the Pilbara

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70%

leisure visitors are
young internationals
or grey nomads

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$477.3m

generated from
tourism
annually

Tourism is a key economic driver for the Pilbara with more than 900,000 visitors to the region every year, generating more than $470 million in gross revenue annually.

Representing 20 per cent of Western Australia’s land mass, the Pilbara is a vast, diverse region of mountain ranges with deep, spectacular gorges, deserts, plains, a stunning coastline and numerous offshore islands.

Boasting extraordinarily beautiful and unique landscapes, rare flora and fauna and a rich tapestry of Aboriginal culture spanning more than 40,000 years, the Pilbara’s environmental and cultural assets represent unrealised potential for the region’s tourism sector.

Revitalisation of major regional towns in the Pilbara has seen more accommodation, retail, and dining options, along with an exciting calendar of entertainment and events. The peak tourism season runs from April to October, capitalising on the region’s warm winter climate.

Continued investment into the six A’s of tourism – Attractions, Activities, Access, Amenity, Accommodation and Awareness – will position the Pilbara as a place people want to visit now and into the future.

Building the Pilbara’s tourism industry has the potential to grow visitation, increase expenditure in the region, and create employment, training and business opportunities, making it a key part of realising the region’s vision for 2050. The Commission is working in partnership with government, industry and business to achieve a number of strategic objectives that aim to unlock the Pilbara’s potential in tourism and make the 2050 vision a reality.

Current Projects

Millstream Chichester National Park Eco Retreat – Prefeasibility Study

Additional ecotourism accommodation in the Millstream Chichester National Park would increase visitation to the park, broaden the accommodation available, and encourage the development of cultural and other tourism experiences. The prefeasibility study will include identifying and prioritising potential sites; addressing heritage, flora and fauna issues; and assessing water availability, site access and costs. An eco-accommodation development in the park would provide local employment, opportunities for traditional owners to deliver cultural experiences, and would support ongoing conservation.Estimated completion: February 2018


Victoria Hotel Redevelopment

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation are leading this project to restore the Victoria Hotel building in Roebourne to its early 1900s architectural form. Once complete, the landmark development will facilitate tourism, training and business opportunities to support economic development in Roebourne. Visit the project website for more information.

Estimated completion: 2018


Warlu Way Drive Trail Signage Upgrade

Pilbara Regional Council will work with local governments to improve directional signage in the region to encourage visitors to follow the Warlu Way drive trail. This project aims to improve the connection between the Pilbara’s major attractions to increase the amount of time visitors spend in the region.

Estimated completion: June 2018


Regional Tourism Entry Signage

Entry statement signage on the main roads in to the Pilbara will provide tourists with a sense of arrival and excitement at being in this iconic region. With 79% of leisure visitors arriving to the region by road, this project includes the installation of three signs at key entry points; Nanutarra, Capricorn and Pardoo.

Estimated completion: June 2018


Camping with Custodians Revised Feasibility

Whim Creek, located half way between Port Hedland and Karratha, is renowned as one of the best overnight camping spots in Western Australia. The Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Limited and Ngarluma Aboriginal Foundation formed a joint venture to purchase the Whim Creek Hotel in 2014 aiming to make it an attractive tourism destination. This project includes a feasibility study into relocating a Camping with Custodians site within the Whim Creek Hotel precinct.

Estimated completion: Early-2018


Eco-Tourism Enterprise on Indigenous Lease

The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation aim to develop an eco-tourism venture in the East Pilbara, including a proposed Camping with Custodians site near the Ngurrawaana Community. This project will investigate the feasibility of this proposal and develop a business plan of an eco-tourism venture.

Estimated completion: 2019


Cultural Eco-Tourism

This project, led by the Yaburara and Coastal Mardudhunera Aboriginal Corporation, will deliver a strategic plan for the Corporation’s cultural tourism aspirations. The strategic plan will bring certainty to site selection where Mardudhunera people could deliver authentic cultural experiences and develop an action plan for making the vision a reality.

Estimated completion: Late-2017


Destination Marketing - Karratha and Surrounds

The Karratha and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry will bring a national television show to the region to promote popular recreation activities such as, fishing and diving, that the area is renowned for. This project will put the Pilbara’s natural tourism assets on a national stage to increase awareness and encourage more people to visit the region.

Estimated completion: December 2017

Reports and studies

Useful links

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