Tourism authorities in Western Australia say the rising fortunes of the budget airline industry is helping the sector survive the global economic downturn.
New figures show passenger numbers at Perth Airport increased by about 6 per cent last financial year.
Graham Moss from the Tourism Council of Western Australia believes the rise is due to more people travelling within Australia, as well as the growing popularity of low cost airlines.
Mr Moss says while the figures are encouraging, the industry is yet to feel the full effects of the downturn.
“I think tourism tends to lag behind the rest of the economic indicators,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and understand that the tourism economy will probably plateau in the next 12 months and then we’ll probably see an increase.”
He says the state’s tourism industry is holding up reasonably well.
“There’s definitely been an increase in the past few months in terms of low cost carriers operating out of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia – that has certainly boosted international movements – and there’s also certainly been an increase in intrastate movements,” he said.