Facing a global pandemic and worker shortages, Broome tourism keeps on shining

Australia's North West TourismSponsored
A Cable Beach camel train at sunset.
Camera IconA Cable Beach camel train at sunset. Credit: Australia's North West Tourism

Broome and the North West’s billion-dollar tourism economy remains strong despite a tumultuous 18 months, thanks to resilient and resourceful tourism operators, savvy marketing and the support of fellow West Australians.

Broome has more than 260 businesses operating in tourism and prior to the COVID pandemic visitor numbers were increasing with more than 335,000 visitors in 2019.

Tourism contributed more than $1.6 billion to the Broome and North West economy in 2019, before dropping to $1.1b in 2020.

Australia’s North West Tourism is the peak tourism body representing Broome, the Kimberley and Pilbara, and works closely with its local tourism industry membership, board members and Tourism WA to attract visitors from WA, Australia and internationally.

ANWT chief executive Tarsh Mahar said Broome has held strong despite the difficulties.

Sammy the Dragon in the Shinju Matsuri float parade.
Camera IconSammy the Dragon in the Shinju Matsuri float parade. Credit: Broome Advertiser

“Tourism is part of Broome’s DNA and has played an enormous part in creating the cosmopolitan destination we call home, as well as being a crucial employer and economic driver,” she said.

“While COVID has had an obvious impact, we’ve been able to tap into new markets within WA for visitors who’ve never been to Broome or not for some time, and we’ve seen the impact with a very busy 2021.”

Marketing has had to be nimble and responsive, including working with Tourism WA and airlines to secure discounted flights into Broome, and working with partners such as the Broome Visitor Centre and Shire of Broome on campaigns to maximise the economic benefits.

“There will be challenges ahead as destinations reopen and more options are available to travellers, but we can see confidence in Broome remains strong as investment continues in new and upgraded attractions, accommodation, tours and experiences, and new opportunities arise such as opening up the Dampier Peninsula,” Ms Mahar said.

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