Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) today welcomed Queensland’s record growth in international tourist visits in the year to September, describing the double-digit growth as “rolled-gold evidence” that tourism was Australia’s next super-growth industry.
TTF CEO Margy Osmond also applauded Queensland’s new “I know just the place” tourism campaign, and the Queensland Government’s commitment to securing a solid slice of the soaring international visitor market, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region.
“Tourism has long been a natural industry for Queensland, and the State Government, together with Tourism Australia, has invested heavily in ensuring that the Sunshine State is also a natural choice for international visitors,” Ms Osmond said.
“Double-digit growth from Asia is proof that the plan is working, with substantial and ongoing increases in the number of visitors from China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Thailand – and all of this before taking into account continued growth in visits from New Zealand, UK, Europe, US and Canada.”
The International Air Transport Association says the Asia-Pacific region – the key source of Queensland’s recent tourism growth – will be the biggest driver of air travel growth during the next 20 years, with routes to, from and within the region generating 1.8 billion new passengers by 2035, taking total passenger number to 3.1 billion – or 43 per cent of the expected global total.
The five fastest-growing aviation markets by passenger numbers will be China, the US, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, with China alone expected to generate 817 million new passengers over the next 20 years, for a total of 1.3 billion travellers.
Ms Osmond said Queensland was well-placed to handle the significant increase in passengers flying from Asia, with three well-established international gateways, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns, all supported by air, road or rail connections to other destinations.
“Brisbane Airport is preparing to open a second runway in 2020, immediately doubling its capability to handle additional flights as visitor numbers begin to soar. This is great news for Queensland’s visitor economy with investment in key infrastructure coming at exactly the right time in the right place,” Ms Osmond said.
“Queensland’s largest airport is curfew-free, and with a new parallel runway – currently Australia’s largest aviation infrastructure project – it will be well-placed not only to receive more international flights, but also to smoothly connect passengers with more onward services to destinations elsewhere across the State.”