Urban Development Institute of Australia WA branch CEO Debra Goostrey, said although some overseas investors would invest in hotel accommodation, the projects needed to match the demand.
She said key tourism bodies needed to consider their options when it came to the accommodation shortage.
‘There needs to be something that would keep people in the area for more than a day to justify building accommodation, rather than busing tourists out from the CBD.
‘There are a range of experiences they can deliver to capitalise on the broader areas ” not just the Swan Valley ” such as taking people further out to the Avon Valley,’ she said.
One of the drawbacks was the Swan Valley was not always welcoming of changes and new projects, she said.
‘The Government could potentially zone the land, but if the projects did not appeal to tourist companies, then it would be difficult to get the plans off the ground.
‘We have an increasing market of middle class Chinese coming through and they have high expectations for accommodation.’
The Swan Valley was not the only place with a lack of tourist accommodation.
Referring to the shortage of accommodation as a ‘plague throughout WA’, she said tourism bodies needed to address the issue before large theme park developments started.
The issue was also about how the area was marketed, she said.
Inspire WA co-director Eric Pearson said his company’s proposed $2 billion theme park resort in Whiteman Park would include hotels and help resolve the accommodation issue.
‘The wineries are the initial attraction, but there are only day visitors to the Swan Valley because there’s nowhere to stay,’ he said.
‘You need accommodation to keep people here for a 3-5 day period, which is what we are planning. Something needs to happen to sell the Swan ” there are people who have never heard of it overseas and over east.’