Australia needs 80 new hotels by 2020 and the equivalent of an additional 120 A380 services a week to keep up with demand from overseas visitors, maintains federal trade and investment minister and pseudo-tourism minister Andrew Robb (pictured).
Delegates at the Destination Australia conference in Sydney this week were told to embrace the opportunities presented by the flourishing Chinese and Indian holiday markets. He said an estimated 200 million travellers are expected to leave China for a holiday by 2020, double the number of last year and 800,000 came to Australia.
“If we got just another 800,000 (Chinese tourists) I’d fear we’re a long way short of coping with that opportunity,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb added that, on current conservative projections, Australia would need 80 new hotels by 2020. He favours five-six star properties that would create Australia as a premium brand.
Tourism Accommodation Australia acting director Carol Giuseppi, however, stressed the need for a “diversity of supply” in order to meet a diversity of demand. “You still need the three-star and other sorts of accommodation,” she said.
Mr Robb says we should take advantage of Middle Eastern governments subsidising their airlines to help boost the number of international tourists to Australia. “We want seats coming into Australia. If the Arab nations want to subsidise our flying, well, that will be a fact of life and we should take advantage of it, frankly,” he said.
The federal government relaxed access for Chinese airlines to almost treble their flights to Australia over the next three years, and doubled the capacity to Chile. Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia are likely to get similar deals this year.