Mackay Airport manager Rob Porter.
Mackay Airport manager Rob Porter. Tony Martin

High-flying airports

MOVE OVER Tasmania, here comes Moranbah.

Brisbane Airport has recently released figures showing the Central Queensland town has pushed popular interstate tourist routes to Hobart and Launceston out of the year's top 20 domestic flight destinations.

Other towns benefiting from the resource boom such as Mackay, Roma, Gladstone and Emerald have also moved up in the list.

North Queensland Airports chief executive officer Kevin Brown said the growth in passenger numbers on the Brisbane-Mackay route was encouraging.

"There was a 16.8% increase in passenger numbers on this route this March compared with the same month in the previous year," Mr Brown said."

"The total of 79,000 travelling between Mackay and Brisbane highlights the strength of the intrastate market, particularly in servicing the booming resources sector.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind said while he welcomed the increase in tourism to Queensland, he was concerned about the impact of the resource sector on state tourist destinations.

"There are definitely risks associated with the expansion of the resource sector," Mr Gschwind said.

"It is critically important not just for tourism, but for the community and for the environment that we balance and manage the growth of the resource sector.

"I think there has to be a more proactive approach taken to achieve long term benefits for Queensland from both the government and the community."

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