Qld tourism holds strong as AirAsia X flights ramped up
A WINDFALL of up to 40,000 new travellers to Queensland each year is expected to build on the state's already recovering tourism industry, according to industry experts.
Discount international carrier Air Asia X will add two new flights between the Gold Coast and Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur from November this year, from five to seven journeys each week.
The increase in seats was announced by Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey, who cited an $8 million incentive for aviation firms to operate in the state.Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief Daniel Gschwind said the influx of visitors would translate to more business in regional tourist spots.
"There is obviously a concentration around the international access point but there is significant evidence that as travellers become more savvy and experienced, they take advantage of going a bit further afield," he said.
"It will certainly filter through to all regions, not just the Gold Coast or south-east corner."
Mr Gschwind said by better linking Queensland to Kuala Lumpur, the new routes also helped connect Queensland to other destinations including significant parts of Asia and Europe.
With more flights coming into Cairns from Japan and China, it was another step in repairing the health of the industry.
"We're on a steady upward trend, there is no denying that," Mr Gschwind said.
"There has been some recovery in the Whitsundays which has suffered in the past couple of years."
Even before the news of more capacity for inbound flights, the number of international visitors heading for Queensland was on the increase.In the 12 months to March 2013, more than two million visitors from overseas visited Queensland, up 100,000 on the previous year.
Mr Gschwind said the falling Australian dollar meant domestic travellers were also now choosing to stay at home when they would otherwise go overseas."Across the board, it's fairly optimistic," he said.
The extra flights from Air Asia X will begin from November