A travel deal struck between the Western Australian Government and Virgin Australia is being heralded an unmitigated success for domestic tourism, with close to 8,000 air tickets selling out in the first week of sales.
The partnership, launched on July 21, offered airfares between Perth and Broome and Perth and Kununurra for $199 one way and $229 one way respectively, with the discounts available both ways.
Virgin Australia increased its services to honour the deal, adding 22,000 extra seats to the Kimberley between August and October, providing a boost to the region’s tourism industry and wider economy as it manages the impacts of COVID-19.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the campaign was one of the State’s most successful intrastate flight deals, with all of the nearly 8,000 discounted tickets selling out in the first week of the promotion.
“This partnership is one of the most successful of its kind the State has ever seen. It is wonderful to see Western Australians are embracing the call to discover parts of the State the rest of the world has been enjoying in record numbers in recent years,” said Mr Papalia.
“The Kimberley tourism sector was one of the hardest hit by the unavoidable impacts of COVID-19 but this partnership will make sure thousands of visitors flow into the region over the coming months.
“The discounted airfares will provide a welcome boost for tourism operators, and we encourage people to book experiences and tours as part of their trips.”
The partnership sees the Perth-Broome route return to a daily service – up from three per week – and Perth-Kununurra flights running three times per week – up from two per week.
Following the success of the sales, Virgin Australia has scheduled additional flights between Perth and Broome over the peak October school holiday period.
It said the additional flights would operate on Monday, Friday and Sunday from September 25 until October 11.
“As Western Australia continues to emerge from the crisis, ensuring that both regional residents and tourists have access to increased availability and affordability of flights is a key priority,” said Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti.
“The success of this partnership is not only a great outcome for tourists; residents of Broome and Kununurra have been able to secure discounted flights to Perth in order to visit family and friends or to attend appointments.”