“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

icon-community-focus.png
1million

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
internationals
or grey nomads

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$413m

generated from
tourism
annually

Tourism is a key economic driver for the Pilbara with more than 1 million visitors to the region every year, generating $413 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 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.

Major regional towns in the Pilbara offer 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

A feasibility study led to an Expression of Interest for ecotourism accommodation in the Millstream Chichester National Park that would support visitation to the park, broaden the accommodation available, and encourage the development of cultural and other tourism experiences. Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation were the successful proponent and are commencing planning to establish an eco retreat at Palm Pool.


Victoria Hotel Redevelopment, Roebourne

Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation have restored the Victoria Hotel building in Roebourne to its early 1900s architectural form. Since completed, the landmark development is facilitating tourism, training and business opportunities to support economic development in Roebourne. In September 2019, the hotel reopened as the Ganalili Centre.


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.


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


Destination Marketing - Karratha and Surrounds

The Pilbara Tourism Association formed in 2019 to support emerging tourism businesses, by working with a range of stakeholders to develop and market tourism opportunities in the Pilbara. The Pilbara Development Commission is supporting the Association including by giving it the right to operate the 'My Pilbara Adventure' campaign and use the digital assets from the campaign to market the Pilbara.

Reports and studies

Useful links

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