New flights direct from Seoul to the Gold Coast will pump more than $176 million into the economy and create close to 2,000 jobs over the next three years.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the new flights were secured through the Palaszczuk Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
Ms Scanlon said the new Jetstar route – in partnership with Jeju Air – would operate three times a week from December.
“We negotiate with airlines to secure more flights for the Gold Coast because this brings more visitors to our city and creates local jobs,” she said.
“These flights will create an extra 660 tourism jobs a year and will also bring 52,000 inbound airline seats a year to the Gold Coast.
“We’ll continue to work with airlines to grow the Gold Coast’s tourism industry.”
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new flights would help grow the Gold Coast’s vital tourism industry.
“We know tourism helps make the Gold Coast economy strong,” Ms Jones said.
“That’s why we’re committed to investing in new direct flights that we know will boost visitor numbers.
“South Korea is a high-priority market for Queensland and this new service will provide added capacity to an important route.
“It’s our sixth largest market for international visitors and expenditure, with the latest figures showing 59,000 South Korean visitors spent more than $238 million in Queensland last year.
“When it comes to securing new flights, the Palaszczuk Government has the runs on the board.
“Since 2015, we’ve secured 2.4 million extra airline seats worth about $1.8 billion for Queensland.”
The service is supported by the Palaszczuk Government through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and is in partnership with Queensland Airports Limited and Destination Gold Coast.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills welcomed the expansion of Jetstar’s long-haul services, linking the city with a critical inbound visitor market and giving locals another exciting overseas travel option.
“South Korean visitation to the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales increased by 53 per cent last year, so there is growing demand to connect our regions,” he said.
“We also know travellers from South Korea are among the top spenders when it comes to visitor groups, so this will deliver significant benefits to our tourism economy.
“We expect the flights will also be popular with Gold Coasters and Northern NSW residents looking to explore South Korea.”
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said it was expected that inbound and outbound demand for the new flights would be strong.
“Research shows that South Korean travellers travel more per capita than any other nationality in the Asia Pacific, and consistently rank Australia as the top destination they want to visit,” Mr Evans said.
“Jetstar already brings more than 1.4 million visitors through the Gold Coast annually, including on international services from Japan and New Zealand.
“By introducing the only direct, low fares link from Australia to Seoul, we also expect that South Korea will be a country that jumps to the top of many Australian travellers’ bucket lists.”
Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the new service appealed to travellers seeking quality authentic experiences.
“The Gold Coast is the third most popular destination in Australia for South Korean visitors who return time and time again, because they love our beaches, weather, theme parks, and natural attractions,” Ms Battista said.
“Strong interest in Australia’s favourite playground resonates particularly with families and honeymooners who are looking for high-end, sophisticated, and iconic tourism experiences.”