Staff Shortages Plague Marine Tourism Businesses in Western Australia

Marine tourism businesses in WA are struggling with severe staff shortages, with workers being drawn to the more lucrative mining and energy sector. Operators are calling on the government to attract more migrants to fill roles in marine tourism, as the shortage continues to hinder their operations.
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Marine tourism businesses in Western Australia are facing severe staff shortages, with eligible workers being drawn to the lucrative marine resources sector. Operators along the north coast are struggling to compete with the mining and energy industry for qualified skippers and other staff. Despite the growing popularity of coastal tours, finding workers has become increasingly difficult, with high salaries in other sectors proving to be a major obstacle.

Tour operators like Jeremy Tucker, who runs tours along the Kimberley coastline, are feeling the impact of the shortage of skilled staff. The Abrolhos Islands, a popular tourist destination, are also facing similar challenges, with operators struggling to find qualified skippers due to competition from the mining industry. The lack of applicants has forced some operators to consider cancelling tours, leading to increasing frustration and exhaustion.

Tourism Council WA is calling for targeted programs to address the staff shortage issue, emphasizing the need for skilled workers to provide safe and high-quality services to international tourists. The state government is investing in initiatives to boost tourism employment, including a dedicated tourism jobs portal and specialized training programs. However, more efforts are needed to attract skilled staff to regional areas and ensure a balanced distribution of workers across different sectors.

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