THE Swan Valley Explorer has been cancelled after being in operation for less than 12 months.
ADAMS Charters confirmed the bus service, which was meant to transform the way international, interstate and local visitors and locals travel around the Swan Valley, finished on May 31.
A McGowan Government spokeswoman said an election commitment of $800,000 was made to tourism in the Swan Valley over a four-year period.
“The funding was administered through Tourism WA, with $150,000 per annum allocated to Destination Perth for marketing activities and $50,000 to infrastructure projects managed by the City of Swan,’’ she said.
“In 2018-19, the City chose to allocate the $50,000 infrastructure funding to the Swan Valley Explorer, a venture to be run by commercial operator ADAMS.
“Tourism WA agreed to this use of the funds, as a hop on/hop off bus was identified as a priority in the City of Swan’s Tourism Strategy 2015-20, and was supported by the local tourism industry, represented by the Swan Valley Tourism Association.
“The contract for the service is a commercial agreement between the City of Swan and ADAMS.
“Conversations about continuing the service would need to happen between those parties.’’
But Opposition Tourism and Small Business Libby Mettam said the government had promised big things for tourism in the Swan Valley but it had delivered very little.
“Despite a conga line of McGowan Government Ministers lined up to congratulate themselves on the commencement of the Swan Valley Explorer bus service there has been an absence of effective support for this service which has been cancelled after just 8 months,’’ she said.
“There is no doubt that the cancellation of this service, will have a significant knock-on effect, limiting the potential to support future events in the region such as the new WA Gourmet Escape.
“The cancellation of the Swan Valley bus less than a year is symptomatic of the challenges facing tourism operators and small businesses in this state.
“This is a failure not only of the McGowan Government’s management of the tourism sector but is a sign of its failure to support small businesses across all sectors.”
The McGowan Government spokeswoman said the cancellation of the service would not impact the Gourmet Escape.
“The event was developed before the hop on/hop off bus service was launched and the organisers have been planning transport options regardless,’’ she said.