Funds to attract direct international flights and develop domestic aviation partnerships will be delivered in the 2014-15 ACT Budget.
An additional $600,000 will go towards the Cooperative Airline Stimulus Fund bringing the funds total to $1.1 million. The fund will support international and domestic cooperative marketing campaigns that will stimulate demand and further grow the economic value of domestic and international visitation to our local economy. The international investment will be leveraged through cooperative destination marketing activities, including campaigns designed by Tourism Australia, VisitCanberra and airline partners.
The ACT Government has also committed $750,000 for Tourism Industry Growth Partnerships to support the Tourism 2020 Strategy. Initiatives include a targeted campaign to enhance conference delegates’ visitor experiences, an exhibition display and promotional material to be used by multiple stakeholders and entry signage to the ACT to align with Brand Canberra.
The international funding supports the investment in Canberra Airport and will also be an important signal to potential carriers about a long term commitment to route development and help to ensure the sustainability of direct international services.
The funding commitment will also enable constructive negotiations to be held with airline partners about cooperative marketing alliances that promote Canberra and the region.
The most recent International Visitor Survey (IVS) figures from Tourism Research Australia revealed that 181,686 international visitors came to the ACT in the year ending December 2013, up from 161,870 in 2012. The strongest results in 2013 came from the Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Hong Kong market with a 37.8% increase on 2012 results, and New Zealand with an increase of 19.9%.
Direct international flights would provide significant benefits to the Territory and help secure its long term future as a business and tourism hub. A research report commissioned by VisitCanberra and undertaken by Independent Economics, estimates that daily services to Canberra from Singapore and New Zealand will generate $139 million per annum in GRP for the Canberra catchment and generate an additional 1085 jobs.