Western Australia leads way in UK flight booking recovery

Flight bookings from the UK to Western Australia are currently at 65% of pre-pandemic levels, higher than any other Australian state.

Data provided by Tourism Western Australia shows flight bookings from the UK to Western Australia between June and December 2022 are at nearly two-thirds of 2019 levels.

Queensland is just behind with UK flight bookings at 64% compared to 2019 and New South Wales is at 59%.

MORE: Western Australia lifts testing requirement for international arrivals

In an interview with Travel Weekly, Western Australia premier Mark McGowan noted the pandemic has altered tourist habits, with visitors now staying in the state for an average of 31 days compared to 18 days in 2019.

He also pointed out a shift towards the trade following the pandemic, as travellers look for the security booking through an agent provides.

He said: “The trade plays a huge role in driving visitors towards the destination. Since the pandemic, travellers are looking for the additional security that booking through a travel agent offers so we are seeing a rise in holidays booked through the trade.”

To boost visitors numbers, Western Australia has launched a AUD $70m (£39m) package of tourism initiatives which will be spent on marketing, events and attracting airlines.

It has also launched a working holiday incentive in partnership with Gap360, giving eligible candidates additional financial support to work and travel in select regional locations across the state.

“Britain has been our biggest overseas market and Western Australia has had a long-standing tourism and travel relationship with the UK”, McGowan added.

“We look forward to reconnecting very strongly with Britain.”