Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales are delighted with new international air services that began in the weekend and are bringing in valuable tourists.
In the case of Queensland and NSW, the carrier is Qantas. For Victoria, Etihad is the benefactor.
Qantas has significantly expanded its presence in Japan with the launch of double daily services between Australia and Tokyo. The flights serve Sydney and Brisbane. Etihad, meanwhile, has begun a new daily service between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi. The services all began last weekend.
Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said the almost doubling of capacity to Tokyo marked a new era for the national carrier’s presence in Japan in the wake of a growing Australia-Japan travel market.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said non-stop service from Haneda to Sydney would make it easier for Japanese visitors to travel to the NSW capital.
Qantas’ B747 non-stop overnight service will be more convenient to travellers in the business district due to its proximity to the city, Ayres said. Haneda Airport is less than 30 minutes from the city via the Tokyo Monorail, reducing visitors’ travel time.
Destination NSW and Qantas are promoting the new direct service via an integrated marketing campaign that encourage Japanese travellers to book a trip to NSW.
The campaign includes outdoor advertising with a train ‘wrapped’ with images of New South Wales. Operating on the busy Keikyu Narita Airport and Haneda Airport access line, the train will be seen by more than 1.18 million passengers daily until September 2015.
Destination NSW and Qantas will also release a series of travel packages to promote New South Wales’ food and wine experiences; key events such as Sydney Running Festival, Sydney Rugby Sevens and Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour; and regional destinations including Blue Mountains, Port Stephens and Hunter Valley.
Queensland, meanwhile is preparing to welcome an extra 108,000 international visitors each year, with the first direct flights from Japan since 2010 having touched down in Brisbane at the weekend.“The daily service opens the skies for an extra 108,000 travellers to visit Queensland each year and has the potential to inject up to AUD 64 million into the economy,” Queensland’s Tourism Minister Kate Jones said.
“This is an important aviation milestone for Queensland as it provides a significant opportunity to grow capacity from one of the state’s key international visitor markets.
“Almost 155,000 Japanese travellers visited Queensland in the year to March 2015, spending more than AUD 305 million on visits.”
Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) had worked in partnership with Qantas, Tourism Australia and regional tourism organisations, Brisbane Marketing and Gold Coast Tourism to promote the new route.
“A major marketing effort featuring print, digital and outdoor ads was launched in May promoting holiday packages to Queensland,” she said.
“TEQ also led a trade mission to Japan in June to engage with Japanese travel wholesalers, agents and media to increase awareness of the new route.
“TEQ will host a VIP delegation of tourism trade officials from Japan on a visit to Queensland this month providing an opportunity for participants to experience tourism attractions in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast first-hand.”
In Melbourne, Victoria’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren hailed the additional daily Etihad Airways flight between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi as a ringing endorsement of Victoria and a boost to the state’s visitor economy.
The new daily service, Etihad’s second between the two cities, touched down at Melbourne Airport on Sunday for the first time.
It creates an extra 2296 seats on the popular route each week, and will further strengthen Victoria’s AUD 20.6 billion tourism and major events industry.
The double-daily B777-300ER service is another opportunity for Victoria to strengthen its global appeal as a place to visit. Improved freight handling capacity also provides greater opportunity for trade between Victoria and the Middle East.
Etihad has flown to Melbourne since 2009 and has become a well-known brand in Victoria. The Airline holds naming rights at Docklands Stadium, and sponsors the A-League club, Melbourne City.
Written by Peter Needham