International flights between Hobart and the Asia-Pacific region could soon become a reality following the Federal Government’s approval of a 500 metre extension of Hobart Airport’s runway, said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
The Tasmanian visitor economy has been a standout performer for the State’s economy with the latest Tourism Research Australia figures showing that international visitor numbers had increased to 212,000 (up 20 per cent), and visitor expenditure has reached $351 million (up a whopping 34 per cent – the highest performance of all States and Territories).
“The approval of the extension of Hobart Airport’s runway is fantastic news that will only help to boost the Tasmanian visitor economy even more,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“TTF has been a vocal advocate of the need to upgrade visitor infrastructure in Tasmania and provide better access for international visitors.
“How exciting that we are getting so close to the point of finally being able to light up ‘international’ in Hobart International Airport.
“Well done to the Federal Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester and Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck for making this happen. It has the potential to turbocharge the Tasmanian visitor economy and open new opportunities that simply aren’t possible without this infrastructure in place.
“I’m sure this announcement will be welcomed news by Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman who has been a vocal proponent of connecting Tasmania to the wider world.
“Tassie is becoming an international visitor magnet, so it makes sense for the Government to get moving on providing the infrastructure that will finally connect Hobart with the largest international visitor markets for Australia in our broader region.
“Imagine what could happen if you could get on an aeroplane in China and fly direct to Tasmania – it would be an absolute boon for the apple isle. Every aeroplane that lands loaded with international visitors at Hobart Airport is more jobs and more economic opportunity for Tasmania.
“Direct international flights into Hobart would mean that every capital city across Australia would finally have these types of services and the financial windfall that they represent to regional economies.”