On the eve of this year’s Routes Asia air service development forum it was revealed in Australia that the 2018 event will take place in Brisbane. The news was announced as delegates were arriving in Manila, Philippines for this year’s event. The 2017 Routes Asia will take place in Okinawa, Japan.
A consortium of tourism advocates, including Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Tourism Australia, Tourism and Events Queensland, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and Trade and Investment Queensland, combined forces to bring what they describe as the “fiercely sought after conference” to Queensland following a competitive tender process. The event will take place between March 18-20, 2018 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"Having been recognised in recent years by delegates for our destination marketing skills, it's a great honour for ‘Team Australia’ to host this prestigious event in 2018 and demonstrate first hand to the world's route planners exactly why Australia is such a great investment proposition for future aviation development," said John O’Sullivan, Managing Director Tourism Australia.
Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, Julieanne Alroe, said being named the host city will give Brisbane an unparalleled opportunity to show the major route planners from around Asia why Brisbane Airport should be at the top of their list for new services.
“Dozens of influential cities from across Asia bid for the chance to host delegates for the Routes Asia conference and it is a reflection of Brisbane and Queensland’s growing importance and profile that it has been chosen for this event,” said Ms Alroe.
With the completion of its New Parallel Runway in 2020, Brisbane will boast similar capacity to the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore airports today, positioning the airport as an even more important gateway to Australia than ever before.
“Brisbane Airport is on the cusp of its most exciting phase in its history, with more than $3.8 billion being invested in critical infrastructure over the next ten years that will underpin domestic and international tourism growth for the next 50 years,” explained Ms Alroe.
“Indeed, we believe Brisbane Airport is the most important link in the tourism industry in this state because every new service to the city drives tourism growth not just into Brisbane itself, but into Tropical North Queensland, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and beyond,” she added.
During 2015, Brisbane Airport welcomed new international services including Qantas’ inaugural flight to Tokyo (Narita), along with Etihad’s now daily direct flight to Abu Dhabi. Most recently, it welcomed its inaugural China Eastern flight to Shanghai, with new Air Canada service to Vancouver and a fourth daily Singapore Airlines to Singapore launching later this year.
“In the National Trade accounts published a few weeks ago inbound tourism is the best performing area of service exports – income from foreign tourists now matches Australia’s total rural exports. It is a major growth sector and it is labour intensive. Every single one of the more than $3.8 billion we expect to spend over the next decade is a dollar spent building the tourism industry,” said Ms Alroe.
The airport is working to gather a partnership with stakeholders to find new and innovative ways to encourage travel into Brisbane and onto the Gold and Sunshine coasts, the Tropical North and the Whitsundays.
“We are backing the growing role of the arts and events in Brisbane with sponsorships, partnerships and an active engagement in building the destination. Over the next few years you will see us playing an even more visible role in generating tourism business for every part of Queensland,” explained Ms Alroe.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said securing Routes Asia 2018 is a great coup for Brisbane, giving the City an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our aviation, tourism and business credentials to key decision makers from Asia.
“Brisbane is an emerging New World City and this event is further recognition of our status as a leader in the Asia Pacific. This is also a key outcome of our Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, which acknowledges our visitor economy as a key growth sector and highlights air route development as a priority,” he explained.
Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said the event reinforced Queensland’s reputation as a destination of choice for significant business events.
“Brisbane, and Queensland, is positioned on the doorstep of the world’s fastest growing region, Asia, and there are immense opportunities for future growth associated with that. Hosting this prominent international forum and some of the region’s most influential airlines brings immediate benefit in these delegates coming to Brisbane, offering the chance to showcasing the inspiring experiences Queensland has to offer,” she said.