Cheaper airfares a big boost to Kimberley tourism in WA’s recovery

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The McGowan Government and Virgin Australia have partnered to deliver cheaper fares and more flights to key Western Australian travel destinations, Broome and Kununurra.

  • McGowan Government partners with Virgin Australia to secure discounted fares between Perth and Broome, and Perth and Kununurra
  • Almost 8,000 discounted tickets available: between Perth-Broome from $199 one-way and between Perth-Kununurra from $229 one-way
  • Flights increased with daily Broome flights and three flights per week to Kununurra
  • Partnership runs from August 3 to October 31, with tickets on sale now
  • Negotiations ongoing with airlines to secure further partnerships to other destinations
  • Regional airfares part of the WA Recovery Plan to support industry and create jobs

Western Australians who book one of the nearly 8,000 discounted tickets will be able to fly to Broome for $199 one-way and Kununurra $229 one-way from August 3, 2020-October 31, 2020, with tickets on sale now.

The deal also applies for flights from Broome and Kununurra to Perth, providing Kimberley residents travelling to Perth with the same benefits as visitors heading north.

The 'Getaway' fares include over 5,500 discounted tickets between Perth and Broome, and more than 2,300 reduced fares between Kununurra and Perth over the partnership period. The airfares must be booked a minimum of 21 days before departure and will launch today with a seven-day sale on all flights.

The Perth-Broome route will return to a daily service (up from three per week), and Perth-Kununurra flights will run three times per week (up from two per week).

The partnership between the McGowan Government, through Tourism Western Australia and the Department of Transport, and Virgin Australia will assist Kimberley tourism operators who were hit by the impacts of COVID-19.

The discounted fares come at a perfect time for visitors to go to Kununurra and enjoy the breathtaking East Kimberley region or to attend the 50th edition of Broome's iconic Shinju Matsuri festival, which runs from August 29 to September 6.

The flights will support the McGowan Government and Tourism WA's Wander Out Yonder campaign, which encourages Western Australians to take the opportunity to explore the State's many world-class destinations.

This initiative builds on discounted community airfares the McGowan Government has recently secured to provide extra services to Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon and Monkey Mia.

The McGowan Government is continuing to negotiate with airlines to secure further partnerships to additional destinations around regional Western Australia.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"These discounted fares will provide a big boost for Kimberley tourism operators after the school holiday period comes to an end.

"The impacts of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time, and that's why supporting industry to get back on its feet is a key pillar of the WA Recovery Plan.

"The best thing we can do for the State's tourism industry is to get out and travel to our many wonderful locations, and this initiative will make a Kimberley holiday more affordable to more Western Australians.

"These flights will also provide Kimberley locals with extra support to travel to Perth to holiday, do business or visit family and friends, and support the many great tourism attractions in the Perth region.

"It's initiatives and investments like these that will help us reposition and restart the tourism sector to maintain business, support jobs and progress our recovery journey."

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:

"Tourism operators and small businesses in the Kimberley region have been dealing with particularly difficult circumstances as a result of COVID-19.

"These flights will break down barriers for Western Australians to holiday in these stunning destinations and get a taste of the experiences out-of-State visitors have been taking advantage of in record numbers in recent years.

"The partnership aligns with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Broome's legendary Shinju Matsuri festival, providing a great reason to join this unique cultural event or discover the East Kimberley region.

"This deal will also give people from the Kimberley a reason to book a holiday in Perth, supporting the city's many world-class hotels, hospitality businesses and tourism operators."

Comments attributed to Acting Transport Minister Sue Ellery:

"These fares will not only be a great boost for those looking to holiday in the Kimberley, but are a positive for residents from Broome, Kununurra and surrounding communities who rely on these air routes to get to Perth for holidays, medical appointments, business and to visit family and friends.

"Building capacity and access to air services and airfares will continue to play an important role in the recovery of the business and tourism sector."

Comments attributed to Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer John MacLeod:

"We're thrilled to be connecting these three destinations within WA, particularly given the vital role that tourism plays in the local industry and broader economy.

"These additional flights are a fantastic opportunity for us to provide our trademark service and value to leisure and business travellers throughout WA."

This press release was sourced from Government of Western Australia on 21-Jul-2020.