The State government announced a $6 million Tourism Flood Recovery Package yesterday afternoon to support Kimberley tourism businesses that are struggling in the wake of devastating flooding in the region.
Tourism Minister Roger Cook has met with tourism operators from Kununurra and Broome and released the details of the assistance package, which will provide support in the interim.
The assistance includes discounted flights, holiday voucher incentives and a national marketing campaign to send the message that the region is open for tourism.
The package is aimed at driving visitors to the Kimberley this year while supporting the local tourism sector as it responds to the recent flooding.
The new discounted airfares from Perth to the Kimberley will start in March.
The government has negotiated discounted flights with Virgin Australia which will offer about 19,000 discounted airfares from Perth to Broome from $219 one-way and Perth to Kununurra from $259 one-way for travel from March 27 to October 29 this year.
Through Tourism WA, the government will launch an 'open for business' national marketing campaign to promote the Kimberley to holidaymakers, tourism wholesalers and industry players.
This will be backed by a voucher incentive program to boost bookings for local tourism operators in both the East and West Kimberley.
The details of the voucher program will be finalised in consultation with the tourism industry.
The government will also continue to work closely with the tourism industry on future needs or required support.
The Tourism Flood Recovery Package comes as holidaymakers are being urged to keep their Kimberley bookings this year, or postpone trips to flood-affected areas, rather than cancel future visits.
Travellers should check with accommodation providers or tourism operators before changing travel arrangements, with popular tourism hotspots such as Broome, Derby and Kununurra and surrounds still operational and ready-and-waiting to welcome visitors for the upcoming tourist season.
Discounted tickets will be on sale from next Wednesday, January 25, and available until allocations are exhausted.
"I urge all travellers with holidays planned for the Kimberley to keep their bookings or postpone until the time is right, rather than cancel, and I implore everyone to add a trip to the Kimberley to their travel plans for 2023 to explore the incredible experiences this part of our beautiful State has to offer," Mr Cook said.
"Now is the time to get behind Kimberley businesses and tourism operators.
"The Kimberley is an iconic tourism destination that makes a significant contribution to the Western Australian visitor economy, and we want to do everything we can to help the local industry.
"The best way Australians can help the Kimberley tourism sector right now is to keep their bookings for 2023 - popular tourism hotspots like Broome, Derby and Kununurra are ready-and-waiting to welcome visitors for the upcoming tourist season.
"We will continue to work with the tourism industry and its needs as the WA Government recovery program picks up pace."
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