Tourism body welcomes growth in international tourism figures
The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) (20-Jan-2017) has positively welcomed the latest overseas arrival figures, calling on all levels of government to work with the tourism and transport industries to develop a strong growth agenda for Australia’s visitor economy in 2017.
The latest ABS Overseas Arrivals figures confirm that 8.2 million people travelled to Australia over the 12 months to November 2016 – up 11.3 per cent on the previous year. Margy Osmond, TTF CEO stated:
“Last year was a year of tax hikes and fee increases on the tourism and transport industries with the backpacker tax and the increase in the holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge – to $60”.
“Today’s excellent figures don’t happen by accident or good fortune. It’s the hard work of industry and tourism authorities to promote Australia as a must-see destination for international visitors at a time when they can choose from anywhere in the world to travel – it’s a cut-throat competition and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball for a second.
Osmond acknowledged the growth of the Chinese inbound market while also highlighting increases from other markets within Asia.
“While China continues to grab the headlines this year as it is anticipated to overtake New Zealand as our largest single visitor source market, we should not ignore the impressive growth we are experiencing in other Asian markets”.
These markets include: India (11.5 per cent) Singapore (12.1 per cent), Hong Kong (12.6 per cent) Malaysia (15.7 per cent), Japan (22.2 per cent) and South Korea (27.2 per cent).
“In the coming years we are going to see a surge of visitors that will want to experience what we have to offer and we need to ask ourselves right now are we ready to handle the millions of new visitors on their way?”
“We need to make 2017 a year in which government and industry sit down together as part of a high level discussion on what actions we need to implement to make sure our infrastructure from our airports and cruise terminals to our roads and public transport to our accommodation offering and our attractions are ready to meet the massive growth in demand.”
Cathay Pacific announces seasonal aircraft change
Cathay Pacific adjusted planned operational aircraft on Hong Kong-Sydney CX101/100 service for northern summer season (Routes Online, 20-Jan-2017). The carrier will deploy A330-300 instead of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on two weekly services from 06-May-2017 to 28-Oct-2017. Overall service becomes 12 times weekly 777-300ER and 16 weekly A330-300 operation, compared to daily 777 and three times daily A330 service in the same period in 2016.
Australian government to introduce contactless immigration system
Australia Department of Immigration and Border Protection plans to introduce a contact-less immigration system in 2H2017, relying solely on fingerprints, iris or facial recognition to identify travelling passengers (ABC, 22-Jan-2017).
Australia Immigration Minister Peter Dutton explained:
“Already we know from the money we’ve invested into biometrics collection that that is a much more reliable collection than we have with people just scanning manually passports”.
The AUD78 million (USD59 million) system roll-out aims to serve more than 90% of passengers by 2020. Canberra Airport is expected to be the first to receive the technology, followed by Sydney Airport and Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. The department hopes to roll out the system across all international airports by Mar-2019.
Queenstown passenger numbers up
Air New Zealand reported (20-Jan-2017) 2016 domestic traffic to and from Queenstown rose 20% year-on-year to more than a million passengers. Passengers numbers increased by more than 163,000 over 2016. The carrier handled 375,000 passengers p/a on Queenstown routes a decade ago.
Tourism New Zealand launches driving campaign
Tourism New Zealand launched (20-Jan-2017) two social media education campaigns relating to driving around New Zealand. A targeted Facebook campaign is underway in the North Island to reach international visitors as they arrive in the country and a campaign using Chinese social media channels is targeting Chinese visitors arriving over the Chinese New Year holiday period.
The campaign is using billboards, posters, digital advertising and social media to spread road safety messages. The messages from both agencies emphasise the differences of driving in New Zealand and encourage drivers to adjust their driving when necessary.
Air Tahiti codeshare expansion
Air Tahiti Nui announced (18-Jan-2017) the extension of its codeshare agreement with American Airlines. The new agreement received formal approval from the US Department of Transportation in mid-Dec-2016. Air Tahiti Nui will codeshare on American Airlines flights from Los Angeles to Paris CDG and access to five additional North America cities on American Airlines, with links to Charlotte, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Toronto.
Fiji Airways to Adelaide
Fiji Airways plans to operate upcoming Nadi-Adelaide service with a mix of Boeing 737 and A330 equipment (Fiji Times, 22-Jan-2017). As previously reported by CAPA – Centre for Aviation, the airline plans to launch the new route on 30-Jan-2017. Adelaide will be the carrier’s fourth Australian destination after Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Bankstown and Camden airport charges remain unchanged
Sydney Metro Airports CEO Colin Grove announced (Jan-2017) airport charges at Bankstown and Camden airports will remain unchanged for FY2016/2017. Both airports are primarily used for general aviation flights.
Grove also announced (Jan-2017) he will leave his position at the end of Jan-2017. Mr Grove will remain available to the boards of Bankstown and Camden airports until 30-Jun-2017 to assist with a streamlined handover once a new CEO has been appointed.
Auckland International Airport receives mobile self check-in kiosks
Auckland International Airport reportedly received all 45 units of mobile self-service check-in kiosks (Future Travel Experience, Jan-2017). As previously reported by CAPA, the kiosks have 12 hour rechargeable battery life and is both mobile and fully-customisable to suit traffic demand. The airport also reportedly added 13 check-in counters.
JETGO receives new aircraft and expands network
JETGO Australia Airlines, via its official Facebook account, reported (20-Jan-2017) that it received Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval to operate Brisbane-Wagga Wagga service from 13-Feb-2017
JETGO also took delivery of its second 44 seat Embraer ERJ-140LR (Australian Aviation, 19-Jan-2017). The carrier also operates 36 seat ERJ-135LR equipment.