2 December 2015
The AirlineRatings.com 2016 Airline Excellence Awards announced yesterday highlight that tourists in Australia are serviced by the highest quality airlines in the world.
I particularly congratulate Qantas and Virgin Australia for their very strong performances at these awards with AirlineRatings.com stating that "Australians are the world's most spoilt passengers with full meal service on all (Qantas) flights across its network."
Qantas picked up the Best Lounges, Best Catering and Best Domestic Class Awards.
Virgin Australia received the Best New World Carrier and Best Cabin Crew Awards with the ratings agency "acknowledge(ing) an airline that makes game changing initiatives to redefine travel and meet ever-changing passenger demands."
International airlines that service Australia have also performed strongly including Air New Zealand, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Delta Airlines.
High quality aviation services are an essential component in increasing international and domestic tourism in Australia. Most international tourists who arrive in Australia do so by air, and air travel is popular to cover the vast expanses domestically, so high quality air services contribute to a tourists' overall satisfaction with their holiday experience.
The tourism industry in Australia is experiencing record levels of visitors and spending as highlighted by recent reports and statistics.
Tourism Research Australia's International Visitor report, released today, reveals spending reached a new high of $34.8 billion, an increase of 13 per cent or $4.1 billion over the year, which is the strongest growth seen since 2001. International visitor arrivals increased 7 per cent to 6.7 million while nights were up 10 per cent, reaching 242 million during the year ending September 2015.
Tourism from China is particularly strong with visitor numbers up 22 per cent to 896,000, nights up 25 per cent to 39.3 million and spending up a huge 43 per cent to $7.7 billion.
The Government will be working hard to ensure that the high standards of air services in Australia continue for the benefit of the tourism industry into the future and I will be particularly focusing on encouraging tourists to visit our regional areas.