A boost of more than 26 per cent in Australia-Korea air service capacity will see a marked increase in the number of tourists coming to Australia from our Korean market, Tourism Minister Fran Bailey, said today.
Fran Bailey said the outcomes of the Australia-Korea air service negotiations were great news for Australian tourism, with Korea being our sixth largest market.
Specifically, capacity was increased from the existing 7,500 seats to 8,500 seats per week, effective immediately.
As well, there was agreement for access to an additional 1,000 seats – bringing the total to 9,500 seats for both sides – 12 months after either country's airline uses all of the available capacity of 8,500 seats.
Traffic rights had been expanded for both parties to include own stop-over rights at any intermediate and beyond points, except for points in the US.
"Tourism from Korea is booming, with Korean tourists spending close to a billion dollars in Australia," Fran Bailey said.
"More aviation capacity will allow more Korean families to visit Australia for a holiday, helping to spend up big and creating plenty of new jobs. It will also provide a welcome boost for Koreans visiting Australia for business conventions and events.
"The extra 1,000 seats are necessary and I have no doubt will be quickly snapped up."
260,900 Korean tourists visited Australia in 2006, an increase of 4.2 per cent. Korean tourists spent $903 million in Australia in 2006, an increase of $315 million.