Kimberley’s tourism lures visitors in spite of overseas competition

 Tuesday, September 27, 2022 

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Kimberley tourism operators are of the opinion that they are witnessing a bumper dry season, flouting beliefs that Western Australia’s border opening would make travelers visit overseas.


Border lockdowns pushed through the major part of 2021 in WA. Premier Mark McGowan only chose to take away constraints on interstate and international travelers in March.


Tourism operators took advantage of a captive audience during lockdown, by witnessing some of the highest visitor numbers of late in Broome, Kununurra, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing.


However, they prepared themselves for discomfort with the reopening of WA’s border.


Willare Roadhouse manager Neralie Middleton said that after years of ambiguity, many operators were hesitant regarding what 2022’s dry season would present.


She said that with the opening of international borders and more admittance to tourism all over Australia, it is not known what is waiting to be faced; however, it has been outstanding.


Middleton said that her business, about 50 kilometers outside of Derby, had relished a 35 per cent upsurge in custom since last year.


Operators opined that it is tough to pinpoint a reason for the increase in numbers. Some believe that last year’s increase in caravan sales contributed to the Kimberley’s buoyant tourism industry.


Accordingly, many tourists are going on self-drive tours, initiating a surge in national park visit numbers around the Kimberley. Australia’s North West Tourism chief executive Natasha Mahar said that there’s a focused effort in the Kimberley for keeping the industry afloat in the past two years.

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