An extra 500 travellers have touched down in Broome each week since the extension of the affordable fare initiative, which enables passengers to take up the Qantas special weekend fares from Perth to Broome.
More than 26,000 seats have been occupied by holiday-makers in the first year of the trial between August 2018 to August 2019.
Dredging at the Port of Broome was completed this week in time for the 2019-20 cruise season, which is expected to welcome 21 ships. Eleven of these ships are coming as a result of the dredging, including three calls by Vasco da Gama as part of its maiden home ported season in Fremantle.
The removal of rock mass will enable better access for cruise ships at all tides, eliminating some of the challenges cruise lines face when deciding on destinations.
Major cruise lines will be able to stay longer in port and visitors will be able to enjoy more time ashore discovering the Kimberley region’s many attractions. This presents a boost for the local tourism industry as cruise ship guests spend their money supporting local businesses from cafés, restaurants, retail shops to tour operators.
The $15.3 million channel optimisation program, a key election commitment to create local jobs and boost the local economy, was a deciding factor which resulted in Carnival Australia homeporting its Sun Princess superliner for the 2019-20 cruise season.
On the mainland, work has progressed on the sealing of the last red dirt section of the Broome-Cape Leveque Road which is expected to further open up Broome and the surrounding region to more tourism opportunities.
The McGowan Government continues to implement a whole range of job-creating and economy boosting initiatives in the Kimberley including the newly funded Stage 2 Broome Chinatown Revitalisation program which features 10-sub-projects, tourism campaigns that promote Kimberley region attractions, major upgrades to roads and schools, and the continuation of the Aboriginal Rangers Program in the Kimberley to provide jobs looking after State parks and protected areas.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“We set out a clear, comprehensive and responsible Plan for the Kimberley to diversify the economy and create jobs, and we’re getting on with delivering just that.
“From securing affordable airfares to delivering key infrastructure projects, my Government is doing all we can to ensure people know Broome is open and even more ready for business and visitors.
“We have committed to support job creation in the Kimberley and grow the local economy, and that’s why significant investments such as the Stage 2 Chinatown development will help get people into Broome and into cafés, restaurants, bars and retail stores.”
As stated by Kimberley MLA Josie Farrer:
“The dredging at the port has long been an issue for our region and I’m pleased the McGowan Government has delivered on its commitment to fix it.
“The sustained investment in the Kimberley region by the State Government shows the importance of our region and our contribution to the WA economy through tourism, primary industries, minerals and energy.
“We need to showcase our local businesses in Broome and initiatives like the Stage 2 Chinatown Revitalisation will help get more people into our town and encourage them to shop, dine and enjoy everything Broome has to offer.”