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Travel Bulletin - - CONTENTS - Margy Os­mond, CEO, Tourism & Trans­port Fo­rum Aus­tralia

While Aus­tralia cel­e­brates soar­ing tourism from China, there’s an even big­ger, more ex­cit­ing story emerg­ing. Vis­i­tor ar­rivals from the whole of Asia are more than triple those of China. And they are also boom­ing. Last year, China de­liv­ered us al­most 1.2 mil­lion vis­i­tors – an in­crease of over 200,000, or 20%, over 2015. This year, it will over­take New Zealand to be­come our big­gest tourism source mar­ket, and fol­low­ing the re­cent avi­a­tion agree­ment be­tween Aus­tralia and China, the po­ten­tial for fur­ther growth is lim­it­less. But com­bin­ing China’s growth with that of Asia’s other mar­kets, the in­flux of vis­i­tors to Aus­tralia from the world’s fastest­grow­ing re­gion was al­most 3.8 mil­lion in 2016, 46% of our na­tional to­tal and over three times the num­ber de­liv­ered by China alone. The big ques­tion is: Are we ready for even more? The In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion says that by 2035, 1.8 bil­lion ad­di­tional pas­sen­ger jour­neys will be made within the Asia Pa­cific re­gion. Not sur­pris­ingly, China will be the world’s fastest-grow­ing mar­ket by pas­sen­ger num­bers (up 817 mil­lion to 1.3 bil­lion), fol­lowed by the US (+488 mil­lion to 1.1 bil­lion), In­dia (+322 mil­lion to 442 mil­lion), In­done­sia (+135 mil­lion to 242 mil­lion) and Viet­nam (+112 mil­lion to 150 mil­lion). In­vest­ments by the tourism and trans­port in­dus­tries will go a long way to­wards sup­port­ing the growth of the vis­i­tor econ­omy. But in­dus­try also needs iron-clad sup­port from govern­ments to fa­cil­i­tate and in­vest in tourism, not only for the next year or five years or even decade, but for 20 and 30 years, and be­yond. We need to en­sure that our air­ports can han­dle the growth. Bris­bane will have a new par­al­lel run­way by 2020, dou­bling ar­rival and de­par­ture ca­pac­ity, and Mel­bourne is plan­ning a third run­way. But our big­gest avi­a­tion gate­way, Syd­ney, re­mains con­strained not only by an overnight cur­few on flights, but by re­stric­tions on air­craft move­ments dur­ing op­er­at­ing hours. The cur­few won’t change. But the limit of 80 air­craft move­ments per hour needs to rise to at least 90. There’s a crit­i­cal need to ex­pand road, rail and wa­ter trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, ve­hi­cle ca­pac­ity, net­works and con­nec­tiv­ity to ac­com­mo­date both res­i­dent and vis­i­tor pop­u­la­tions. Im­prov­ing trans­port con­nec­tiv­ity to re­gional ar­eas is also cru­cial to en­able in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence a greater va­ri­ety of au­then­tic Aus­tralian ex­pe­ri­ences. At­tract­ing more vis­i­tors also means that we need more beds, so we must en­sure suf­fi­cient ac­com­mo­da­tion is avail­able at all grades, in all ci­ties and key des­ti­na­tions, and at in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive prices, to ac­com­mo­date the surge in ar­rivals. We are on the rim of the world’s fastest-grow­ing eco­nomic re­gion, and the cusp of an ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­nity which we can’t af­ford to miss. We need to take full ad­van­tage.

The big ques­tion is: Are we ready more?’ for even

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