Named one of the top 10 most beautiful cities in the world in 2015, Brisbane, Australia will host Routes Asia in 2018. With significant growth, expansion plans to Brisbane Airport, and increasing Asian passenger numbers, Australia’s largest capital city in closest proximity to the Asia Pacific region is the perfect choice.
Brisbane is the gateway to the state of Queensland, which houses an entire wealth of attractions that keeps tourists flocking in their millions. Thirteen of the top 25 golf courses in Australia can be found within the state, including Brookwater Golf Club which was designed by Queensland native, two-time Open Championship winner Greg Norman.
It is not just golfing superstars that Queensland has given the world, it is also home to the Australia Zoo which was made famous by wildlife expert Steve Irwin, home to more than 1000 animals and welcoming 700,000 visitors a year. Queensland is also home to the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Brisbane Airport has seen a steady increase in passengers since the turn of the millennium, and as numbers continue to grow, infrastructure changes will take place. More than 22 million passengers were served at Brisbane Airport in 2015, an increase of 0.7 percent – which includes a 27.5 percent increase of Chinese passengers arriving.
A record number of Chinese passengers were welcomed in February 2015 for Chinese New Year, as well as a spike in numbers in May for the Corroboree Greater China events. Overall, international passenger numbers increased by 4.8 percent in the 2015 calendar year.
The top five growth markets in 2015 for Brisbane Airport came from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. In order to deal with growing numbers, over the next two decades new works will enhance the existing airport. This will be achieved through the construction of a new parallel runway, expansion of the domestic terminal and the development of aviation-related industry precincts.
The New Parallel Runway at Brisbane Airport is slated to be completed by 2020, following an investment of $1.35 billion. The creation of the new runway is the biggest aviation project in Australia, and when completed will give Brisbane the best runway system in the country. The runway will allow the same level capacity as Singapore and Hong Kong airports, delivering a regional economic benefit of around $5 billion a year by 2035. October 2015 saw the opening of a $45 million redevelopment of the international terminal. In the next 20 years, the airport will cater to almost 49 million people.
Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) – part of the consortium who are to host Routes Asia 2018 – have forecasted that in the short term (out to 2019/2020) international passenger movements through Brisbane Airport will sustain an average 5.4 percent annualised growth, whereas the number of international visitor arrivals to Australia grow by an average of 3.5 percent per annum.
Brisbane Airport is seen as a critical transport hub, with hopes to be a catalyst for economic and population growth in Queensland, with BAC continuing to work closely with airlines to promote not only Brisbane, but Queensland and Australia in order to attract new airlines and services to Brisbane Airport.
Brisbane’s New World Action Plan emphasises the importance of economic development coordination and connectivity. The plan sets Brisbane apart as an Asia Pacific hub as well as Australia’s new world city, pursuing a strategy similar to that of San Francisco, Barcelona and Tel Aviv. A New World City is a city that is affordable, mid-sized, offers quality education options and has an efficient infrastructure.
One of the growth areas that has been identified in the New World City plan is the Accommodation and Visitor Economy – in order to obtain growth in this area, as well as the likes of higher and international education, advanced manufacturing and food and agribusiness; actions have been devised.
Actions include attracting more regional Asia Pacific headquarters and centres of excellence; attract and grow more events; and secure more direct international airlines services and attract more visitors through their current connections – which is where Routes Asia can fulfil these actions.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said: “Brisbane is an emerging New World City and this event (Routes Asia 2018) 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.”