Nin­ga­loo on Lon­don flight map

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

In­ter­na­tional tourists on the new Lon­don to Perth di­rect route will be able to make use of cut-price Qan­tas do­mes­tic flights to the Nin­ga­loo Coast when the ser­vice hits the skies next year.

In­bound trav­ellers on the long­haul flight from Lon­don to Perth can book heav­ily dis­counted tick­ets to fly from Perth to Lear­month, Broome and Ger­ald­ton as part of their trip.

The cheap ticket is known as a Walk­a­bout Pass, and in Ex­mouth’s case costs just £35 (about $60) each way on top of the Lon­don to Perth ticket — about one third of the stan­dard fare.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre man­ager Kristy Bryan-Smith said lo­cal busi­nesses had a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in lur­ing UK trav­ellers to the Nin­ga­loo Coast.

“Lo­cal busi­nesses have been pro­mot­ing the news via their so­cial me­dia chan­nels and will con­tinue to work with Aus­tralia’s Coral Coast to pro­vide hol­i­day pack­ages to the UK mar­ket, en­sur­ing the Nin­ga­loo re­gion re­alises the full ben­e­fit of this ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity,” she said.

“We hope to see an in­crease in the load on ex­ist­ing Qan­tas flights, which will strengthen the vi­a­bil­ity of the Lear­month route.

“The Nin­ga­loo Coast is a pop­u­lar UK and Euro­pean hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion, and the new fares will make the re­gion more ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able, driv­ing vis­i­ta­tion lev­els.”

Qan­tas WA re­gional man­ager Ju­lian Barry said the air­line an­tic­i­pated a $70 mil­lion a year boost to the WA econ­omy from the Lon­don to Perth route.

“The whole idea is to gen­er­ate tourism and, rather than have peo­ple fly­ing into Perth and fly­ing to other States, ac­tu­ally staying in Western Aus­tralia and ex­plor­ing the State,” he said.

“In terms of gen­er­at­ing ex­tra flights, we know we will gen­er­ate more jobs.

“If we have more peo­ple trav­el­ling into Perth, we will ob­vi­ously look at the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate more ser­vices re­gion­ally.”

Mr Barry said while Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land were not avail­able on the Walk­a­bout Pass, Qan­tas was open to pro­vid­ing more op­tions to pro­mote re­gional Aus­tralia.

The first Lon­don to Perth di­rect flight will take off in March, just ahead of Easter and the start of the North West tourism sea­son.

Gas­coyne Tourism Board tourism de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Jules Bush said mar­ket­ing of the re­gion on the east coast of the US would fur­ther cap­i­talise on the Lon­don route.

“What we were find­ing when talk­ing to ho­tels and tour op­er­a­tors over there is that for peo­ple on the east coast of Amer­ica, it is noth­ing for them to fly to Lon­don,” she said.

“So now they will have that path­way to then con­nect with WA through Lon­don.

“With the pop­u­la­tion size over there, that is ex­cit­ing.”

Ms Bush said the new route would help at­tract higher-yield­ing vis­i­tors to the re­gion.

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