Promising signs for Kimberley tourism
- Written by Mark McGowan
The McGowan Labor Government is getting on with the job of bringing more Western Australian, interstate and overseas visitors to Broome, to provide a boost to the local economy and create jobs.
There has been strong interest in the discounted airfares on flights between Perth and Broome, an initiative designed to encourage more people to experience Broome and the Kimberley region.
Since the deal was announced in May, there have been approximately 2,000 bookings for discounted flights to Broome, which will commence in August.
The special weekend fares will be available at $199 one-way during high season (between August 17, 2018 and October 16, 2018, and June 21, 2019 to August 17, 2019), and $179 during low season (October 17, 2018 to June 20, 2019).
The State Government is working with local operators in Broome to ensure that those who take advantage of the discounted flights can receive discount offers, to create more affordable holidays.
A lot of work is going into boosting the cruise industry in Broome, as demonstrated by the State Government's $7 million investment to dredge Broome Port to allow all tide access for cruise ships from 2019. Kimberley Ports Authority (KPA) has released a request for proposals for the dredging work which, depending on the contractor selection process and dredge availability, should take place before the end of 2018.
The KPA has also entered into a contract and is completing the final detail design for a new above deck gangway which will provide improved and more efficient wharf access for passengers disembarking from large cruise ships.
The KPA Chair and CEO, accompanied by representatives from Tourism WA, recently visited cruise lines in Sydney to encourage them to visit Broome and open up direct lines of communication with cruise companies.
There are 19 cruises scheduled to visit Broome this year, up from the 17 that visited last year. In 2019, 26 cruise ships are expected to visit Broome.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"As a government, we've been working hard to bring more tourists to Broome and the Kimberley, to support the local economy and create jobs for locals.
"There are some positive signs, most notably the strong take-up of the offer of discounted flights between Perth and Broome.
"It's great to see local tourism operators taking advantage of the offer.
"Perth newspapers have been advertising discounts on a variety of accommodation from glamping through to luxury stays, discounted tours to explore the amazing landscape around Broome, the hop-on, hop-off bus makes getting around more affordable, and advertisements for discounts on fishing adventures, pearl farm tours and astronomy adventures all add value to visitors' experiences.
"We expect to see more discounting and special offers for visitors in the coming weeks and months."