Partners to bolster visitation

Glenn Cordingley and Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
Virgin Australia is in talks with the State Government aim to increase visitation to the Kimberley from the East Coast.
Camera IconVirgin Australia is in talks with the State Government aim to increase visitation to the Kimberley from the East Coast. Credit: Getty Images

Sale fares and packages promoted through a $1.2 million airline deal with Virgin Australia are expected to bolster visitor numbers from the east coast to WA, including the Kimberley.

The State Government’s two-year partnership is the first extended agreement between the airline and Tourism Western Australia, with $600,000 coming from each.

It follows previous successful short-term joint advertising arrangements between the two parties.

The current agreement will see Virgin Australia use its substantial marketing assets to increase awareness of WA as a holiday destination.

Campaigns will educate consumers about Perth’s revitalisation, including the increased choice and availability of affordable and quality accommodation, and the city’s events calendar.

Sale fares and holiday packages promoted through the agreement will also encourage holidaymakers to use Virgin Australia’s network to travel to regional areas such as Broome and Kununurra.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said encouraging travel companies and airlines to partner with the State Government in tourism marketing activities achieved better leverage of government funding and better outcomes for the tourism industry.

“The total number of interstate visits increased 8.8 per cent to 1.52 million in the year ending September 2018, with 76,000 more interstate holidaymakers compared to September 2017 — an increase of 21.4 per cent,” he said

“Co-operative agreements such as this one will only help in furthering this growth in future.”

Australia’s North West Tourism chief executive Natasha Mahar welcomed the announcement. “This initiative from TWA and Virgin is great news and amplifies our efforts at ANW to promote the Kimberley through campaigns aimed at the east coast,” she said.

Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Peter Taylor said the deal was another indication of the Government’s focus on turning around the tourism industry.

“This is good news but we have to recognise that Broome and the Kimberley have lots of competitors chasing the same tourist dollar,” he said.

“We have to not only meet but exceed the visitor expectations to be truly competitive — we can do this, especially if the tourism sector can work together to continually improve our products and visitor experiences.” Virgin Australia general manager brand and marketing Michael Nearhos said WA was a compelling destination for tourists.

“Our partnership with Tourism Western Australia will help us promote the wonders of the west and encourage more visitors to this magnificent part of the world,” he said.

Broome International Airport chief executive Paul McSweeney said the initiative would further assist recent efforts to “promote Broome and the Kimberley at affordable airfares and encourage increased visitation to the region.”

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