Trade, tourism links see growth in Aussie travel

Jobs, more trade and new opportunities are set to flow thanks to strong growth in travel from China and a significant increase in air freight movement, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says.

Releasing the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics’ (BITRE) International Airline Activity 2017-18 report, Mr McCormack said it shows the Australian Government’s aviation policy is helping create jobs and opportunities and achieving results.

“Every plane, every passenger and every cargo container helps create jobs, opportunities and an economic benefit for Australians,” Mr McCormack said.

“These latest aviation statistics paint a very positive picture for the Australian economy, and that means the benefit will flow to tourism operators, exporters and farmers around the nation.

“Our decisions during past year to support passenger and freight growth, including an open skies-style agreement with China, is paying off for locals and for the economy.

“We also implemented a significant expansion of air services arrangements with India in June 2018 and with both Fiji and the Philippines earlier this month which I hope will see the opportunities for Australians grow in those regions too.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the report was demonstration of the significant benefits of open trade and the current strength of our tourism industry underpinned by strong international traveller numbers.

“We’ve seen steady growth in air freight traffic, particularly outbound freight, which means Australian businesses are benefiting from greater opportunities to export more of their goods to more corners of the globe,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We will continue to back Australian businesses by opening new doors and pursuing new market opportunities that allow them to sell more of their high-quality produce and goods to the rest of the world.

“We should also be encouraged by the strong international traveller numbers in this report which show a 22 per cent spike in visitors from China and that Australia has already met our current 2020 inbound passenger seat targets.

“This is good news for our local tourism industry as more international travellers mean more people in our restaurants, staying in our hotels and visiting our tourist attractions. This is good for Australian businesses and ultimately helps contribute to a stronger economy and more Australian jobs.”