Cheaper Broome flights aim to bump Bali

Sophie Moore

The West Australian government will not reveal how much a discount airfare scheme will cost taxpayers, as it attempts to lure tourists away from Bali to Broome in the state's north.

But it remains to be seen if the 428,000 West Australians who visit Bali each year will want to swap low-price luxury on a tropical island for the more costly pleasures of the Kimberley town.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia believes Broome and its surrounds can hold up against the Indonesian island.

"The Kimberley is like nowhere else on earth - it's a beautiful place to go," he told 6PR radio.

From August 17, flights from Perth to Broome will be less than $200 one-way as part of a year-long-trial agreement between the state government and Qantas.

"In doing this, we will encourage more intrastate travel to regional WA, which will help to stimulate the state's economy and create jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries," Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Friday.

He would not say how much the scheme will cost the state government.

The deal comes after a parliamentary inquiry into regional airfares last November found it was cheaper for travellers to fly to Bali or Singapore than destinations in WA.

And tourism figures showed WA was the only state to record a fall in visitor numbers in 2017.

Mr Papalia says he hopes the cheaper fares will encourage people to escape to Broome for a weekend getaway, saying it is a higher-quality offering than Bali.

He urged other airlines to reduce their prices, and wants hotel and hospitality businesses in Broome to also consider discount packages.