BRISBANE TO BEIJING DIRECT FLIGHTS TAKE OFF
Direct Brisbane to Beijing flights to rake in $190m
QUEENSLAND has won a bigger slice of the Chinese tourism market with a new airline deal that’s tipped to inject more than $190 million into the state’s economy.
Air China will begin flying direct from Beijing to Brisbane four times a week from December under a deal the State Government hopes will put Sydney and Melbourne on notice.
A major coup for Queensland, the deal was reached under the Government’s $33.5 million Connecting with Asia fund in which it commits cash that is matched by organisations including the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism & Events Queensland, Tourism Whitsundays and Tourism Australia.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was hoped the flights would bring up to 170,000 passengers to Queens- land over the next four years, with the deal worth at least $191 million to the state’s economy.
“We know the best way to grow tourism in Queensland is to secure more direct international flights,” she said. “Securing flights from China’s capital city for the first time is a big coup for Queensland, opening up new opportunities to tap into this valuable market.”
Boosting efforts to secure more direct international routes, including new Chinese destinations, was a key point of the recent Future Brisbane series in The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail.
The deal was secured during Tourism Minister Kate Jones’ trade mission to China last month.
Ms Jones said it would provide Queensland with a major advantage as it battles against Sydney and Melbourne for a share of the booming Chinese tourist market. The flights will also be a bonus for Queensland businesses hoping to expand into China.
“China is Queensland’s largest international market, generating close to a fifth of Queensland’s total tourism expenditure, with visitors spending $1 billion over the past year,” Ms Jones said.
Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said the extra flights were crucial to increas- ing the Chinese tourism market in Australia, already worth about $10 billion a year to the country.
“With the potential to be worth up to $13 billion by the year 2020, it is crucial that Australia continues to strengthen its ties with China to help realise the full potential of this market,” he said.
The flights will arrive from Beijing at 3.10pm and leave Brisbane at 7.30pm, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from December 11.
The significance of Mantra boss Bob East being appointed the new Tourism Australia chairman should not be lost on Queenslanders. The Gold Coast-based Mr East is a fierce and passionate supporter of tourism in Queensland and he now assumes the nation’s top advocacy role.
He was appointed by a Queenslandbased politician, Steve Ciobo, the Federal Tourism and Trade Minister. The chief executive of Tourism Australia is John O’Sullivan, the former head of events in Queensland. It’s a rosy position for the Sunshine State. The three key decisionmakers in Australian tourism are Queenslanders to the core.
That triumvirate of power makes today’s Chinese aviation announcement by Tourism Minister Kate Jones even more prescient. The new airline deal is expected to inject more than $190 million into the state’s economy.
Air China will begin flying direct from Beijing to Brisbane four times a week from December under the deal the Palaszczuk Government hopes will put Sydney and Melbourne on notice. The deal was reached under the Government’s $33.5 million Connecting with Asia fund in which the state commits cash that is then matched by organisations, including the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Gold Coast Tourism, Tourism Events Queensland, Tourism Whitsundays and Tourism Australia in a bid to attract airlines to Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was hoped the flights would bring nearly 170,000 passengers to Queensland over the next four years alone. Mr Ciobo said the extra flights were crucial to growing the Chinese tourism market in Australia, already worth about $10 billion a year to the country. In an economic climate challenged by so many factors, tourism remains a standout performer for Queensland. We are the No. 1 aspirational destination for just about every country in the world. The Great Barrier Reef and the state’s beaches are seen as the most desirable of all Australian attractions. And now Queensland has started to exploit the value of big events.
The Jeff Horn – Manny Pacquiao fight attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in international exposure for Queensland. Queensland will not sit by anymore and watch Victoria and NSW take the major events. With Harvey Lister’s plan to build a 17,000-seat mega stadium in the heart of Brisbane getting the support of both the Government and the LNP, the time is ripe for Queensland to expand on its events tourism strategy. A stand alone events portfolio, with a dedicated minister, is worth pursuing because of the huge economic numbers on the table.
Victoria does it. Las Vegas does it. So too does Macau. If Queensland wants to be successful as an events drawcard – a city alive to bringing the biggest sporting, cultural and entertainment shows in the world – we must think globally. We have the weather, the population base and the entrepreneurial spirit to pull it off. We now need the political will.