The touch down of Canberra’s first international flight today should mark the beginning of a new boom in the ACT’s visitor economy as thousands of overseas visitors from Singapore and New Zealand are able to access direct flights to the nation’s capital, said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
“Today’s first international flight by Singapore Airlines into Canberra Airport has been a long time coming and welcome news to see Canberra join the list of Australia’s international airports with overseas services,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“The ACT is an international tourist’s playground – home to some of Australia’s best food and wine experiences, cultural and sporting events, and iconic national attractions – and now they can access it directly from Singapore and New Zealand.
“According to the latest figures, Canberra is attracting 203,000 international visitors – up 13 per cent on the previous year – and $420 million in spending – up 16 per cent. The commencement of these new air services means more international visitors will be able to experience what Canberra has to offer.
“Singapore Airlines should be applauded for its decision to invest in these routes which reflects the confidence of the industry in the growing maturity of both Canberra as an international destination of choice and the Asian love affair with Australia’s culture and heritage.
“It should not be forgotten that the commencement of flights by Singapore Airlines also means that Canberra has direct flights with New Zealand via Wellington. This is a market with over 1.3 million New Zealanders visiting Australia every year.
“Attracting international flights to the nation’s capital is an important component of growing Canberra’s visitor market and reaching its goal of boosting overnight visitor expenditure to $2.5 billion by 2020.
“Canberra Airport should be congratulated for investing in its new international terminal which means overseas visitors to Canberra will experience some of the most modern airport facilities in the country.
“Today’s historic flight could not have been achieved without the determination of Canberra Airport and VisitCanberra in securing this fantastic partnership with Singapore Airlines. TTF has been a strong supporter of attracting international flights to the ACT for a number of years.
“We all want to see these new direct international flights to Canberra be an overwhelming success. Today should mark the start of a growing choice of airlines and destinations that will support the expansion of the ACT visitor economy and more jobs for the region.”