11 February 2022

MEDIA RELEASE

$200 million to fly more international visitors to Queensland

The Palaszczuk Government is joining forces with Sunshine Coast Airport and other international airports across Queensland to invest $200 million in the state’s international reopening.

The nation-leading agreement sees the government partnering with Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Cairns Airports to attract more overseas flights to Queensland.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said this was another crucial part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“More flights. More tourists. More tourism dollars. More jobs. That’s what today’s announcement means for regions like the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Dick said.

“This partnership will see our government working with Queensland’s major airports to secure more flights and new overseas routes so we can continue building back better.

“Best of all, our investment is going to safeguard employment across the aviation and tourism sectors.

“It will benefit our airline workers, airport staff, tourism operators, accommodation providers and small businesses.

“This partnership has been made possible through the support of our airports like the Sunshine Coast, and I thank them for working collaboratively with us,” he said.

“For the Sunshine Coast, the New Zealand market holds huge potential, and we want to welcome more of our Kiwi friends to this region.

“Combined with our ‘Days Like This’ tourism campaign announced earlier this week, this $200 million aviation funding boost will ensure brighter days are ahead for the Sunshine State.

“Queensland is a welcoming state, and we want to welcome more international tourists from every corner of the globe.”

The investment is split between government and the private sector, with $100 million through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and $100 million from Queensland’s major airports and regional tourism organisations.

It’s expected to deliver more than 5.3 million airline seats per year, generating almost $4 billion.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie thanked the Queensland Government, saying the announcement is great news for Sunshine Coast Airport and the region more broadly.

“Investment by the Queensland Government in our airport will create jobs for generations to come and provide a much-needed boost to our tourism industry as a result of increased visitation,” Mr Brodie said.

“Direct international aviation connections allow our region to capitalise on business and tourism opportunities.

“We know international visitors stay longer and spend more, and share their experiences with friends and family, which is key to repeat visitation.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt called the announcement “terrific for the region”.

“The tourism sector is such a big part of the Sunshine Coast economy, and we’re committed to its growth and success,” Mr Hunt said.

“This investment will lead to increased employment opportunities, which will have a positive ripple effect through our communities up and down the coast.”

Member for Nicklin Rob Skelton said the news is not only a boon for tourism but it’s also great for the many New Zealanders and citizens of other nations who live and work in the region.

“I can see huge potential for our agriculture sector, helping to attract workers who will contribute to our economy by supporting farmers and businesses because they will be here long term,” Mr Skelton said.

“It’s an air bridge to New Zealand, the Pacific and Asia. It’s an exciting time for connecting our region to the world.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the commitment by the Queensland Government to support growth in international flights into the Sunshine Coast Airport, with its new international runway delivered as part of council’s $334 million Airport Expansion Project.

“Coupled with our direct international gateway, this fund will enable the Sunshine Coast to grow its international visitor market and showcase our spectacular region to a global audience in the 10 years leading up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“More importantly, however, growing our international visitor markets means jobs for our residents and new supply chain opportunities for our local businesses.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said international markets are critical for the Sunshine Coast as visitors stay longer and spend more in the region.

“Prior to COVID-19, international travellers represented more than 11 per cent of our market and contributed $285 million to the economy,” Mr Stoeckel said.

“We believe we have the potential to strongly rebuild these markets, with our nature-based tourism offering being what international travellers are likely to be seeking for their next holiday.”

The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $1 billion to help tourism and hospitality operators through the pandemic.

This includes $10 million in the 2021-22 budget to kickstart domestic aviation connectivity to Australia’s favourite Queensland holiday experiences.

ENDS

For further information

Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Relations,

media@sunshinecoastairport.com.au

0439 835 301

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