Government body Tourism Australia is looking to boost air links from the United States and Asia to build further on the strong momentum from those markets.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at the World Routes conference in Barcelona, Tourism Australia's executive general manager of international Phillipa Harrison says that it wants to see more air services from greater China and India to Australia to capitalise on the strong inbound tourism demand.

"We are in the Asian century; there is just so much untapped potential in Asia that has seen double digit growth yearly," she adds.

Last year, China moved up to be the second largest inbound tourism market to Australia, behind New Zealand.

Harrison says that there has been a strong rebound in tourism from the US in recent years, with arrivals now overtaking those from the UK. That is expected to see new air links open up between the two countries.

"We already have the open skies agreement with the US and have seen more than 10% of annual passenger growth in terms of arrivals in the last three years," she adds. "Our market share in the US is around 1.3%. If we grow that by 0.3%, it will mean adding A$1 billion ($793 million) to our economy," says Harrison.

United Airlines recently announced plans to start a direct Houston-Sydney on 18 January 2018, while Qantas has flagged its intention to launch new services to the US in the future.

On Qantas's recent decision to return to the Singapore-London Heathrow route, Harrison believes that the move will give passengers more choice, and Dubai will remain an important hub for Qantas travellers.

"Passengers still have option to hub in Dubai with codeshare partner Emirates, and it was always going to do well, due to its vast network," he says.

Source: Cirium Dashboard