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Direct Cairns flights boost Korean numbers

February 27, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Jin Air’s direct flights from South Korea to Cairns delivered a $9 million boost to Cairns & Great Barrier Reef with almost 6000 Korean visitors arriving between mid-December and early February.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the airline had found the 16 flights from Seoul successful with 97 per cent of the seats sold.

“Jin Air and nine Korean wholesalers sold package tours which included the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics rainforest, Kuranda, Port Douglas, the Atherton Tablelands and Cassowary Coast,” he said.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a major drawcard for this market and the Korean charter travellers visited this World Heritage area with Reef Magic and Sunlover Cruises.

“They also experienced sky diving, hot air ballooning, white water rafting, Paronella Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and Rainforestation Nature Park.

“TTNQ worked with Cairns Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia to support promotional activities in the market and assisted Korean inbound tour operators to establish business relationships between Korean agents and Cairns suppliers.

“As part of Queensland on Tour in September, TTNQ and six members – Reef Magic, the CaPTA Group, Shangri-La Cairns, Paronella Park, Sunlover Cruises and Raging Thunder – hosted training workshops for more than 100 Korean agents to familiarise them with Cairns & Great Barrier Reef.

“Cairns & Great Barrier Reef was already a popular holiday choice for the Korean market with the International Visitor Survey for the year ending September 2016 recording 10,800 Korean visitors and the charter flights will further boost this figure.”

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter said there had been discussions with Jin Air about more seasonal flights and a year-round service to provide a direct connection between South Korea and Australia.

“We hope this successful seasonal service will be the start of a long and fruitful partnership that will support even further growth in Korean visitor numbers to Australia,” he said.

“Cairns is the northern gateway to Australia and has an excellent domestic network that will allow South Koreans to easily travel to other holiday destinations.

“South Korea is a rapidly growing market for Australia and continuing capacity growth will ensure its ongoing success.”

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