Perth has been announced as the host of Australia’s largest annual tourism trade event in 2019.
Around 3,000 delegates from more then 30 nations attend The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) every year, so the announcement comes as a coup for Western Australia.
“We've seen Perth, Australia's sunniest capital city, transform into one of the nation's most interesting destinations with a vibrant city life surrounded by nature, and ATE19 will be our time to really shine for an international audience,” WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said.
"We want Perth to be one of the most desirable leisure and business event destinations in the world, and ATE19 gives us an extraordinary opportunity to position ourselves as Australia's western gateway.
"ATE19 will bring hundreds of key international wholesale and retail buyers as well as journalists and digital influencers to explore what's on offer in Perth and regional WA."
Organised by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism WA, ATE19 will be held from 8-12 April at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The announcement comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that tourist arrivals and spending for the year ending February 2018 reached an all-time high.
According to the ABS data, international visitor numbers rose to 8.9 million, while tourism-related spending in the year to December reached a record A$41.3 billion.
The data also showed that for the first time, China had become our biggest source market, with the number of Chinese tourists arriving in Australia for the year ending February totalling 1.39 million (a year-on-year increase of 13.2%).
"The record-breaking $10.4 billion that Chinese tourists spent across our economy in the year ending December 2017 was key to tourism businesses being able to grow, thrive, and take on more Aussie workers," Federal Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo told AAP.
The country it replaced at the top of the table, New Zealand, accounted for 1.36 million visitors over the same period.