SINGAPORE SLING (4/5)

SINGAPORE SLING  (4/5)

UP to 166,000 international visitors a year are forecast to fly to the Gold Coast with news that Singapore Airlines offshoot Scoot will begin its five-day-a-week service between the Gold Coast and Singapore on June 12.

The new airline has potential to usher in $65 million annually to the region’s economy and open up yet another international gateway to the city.

Launching the services today at Gold Coast Airport, Queensland Minister for Tourism Jan Jarratt (pictured with Premier Anna Bligh and Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson) says Asia represents the greatest growth potential for the state’s tourism industry and increasing air capacity from the region is the Bligh Government’s long-term goal.

"Aviation access is a key to unlocking Queensland destinations like the Gold Coast to international visitors and, with the explosion of low-cost carriers over recent years, it's crucial that we remain competitive in terms of price and ease of access,” she says.

"Scoot has indicated that its first year destinations will also include China, so the option of one-stop connections to the Gold Coast from mainland China will add even more potential for the region.”

The deal is a boon to the city’s $4.5 billion tourism industry and was hatched by a consortium including Gold Coast Tourism, Gold Coast Airport, Tourism Queensland and Tourism Australia.

It will further open the lucrative Chinese market to the coast, as Scoot is set to announce the Asian country as one of its first-year destinations.

Air Asia X has already connected the Gold Coast to its transport hub at Kuala Lumpur, while Virgin and Jetstar fly to New Zealand and southeast Asia.

Jarratt announced the partnership alongside Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson, Gold Coast Tourism chairman and Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan and Gold Coast Tourism chief Martin Winter.

Winter says regular services will position the Coast on a new level as an international destination for Singaporeans.

"The Gold Coast has today achieved a new standing as an international destination with regular direct flights from the Asian hub of Singapore unlocking a massive network of access and promotional opportunities," he says.

Donovan says the deal cements the city’s status as an international travel destination of choice.

“This announcement reinforces the ever increasing appeal of the Gold Coast in the market and demonstrates the potential that organisations like Scoot Airlines see in the growth of the destination, providing approximately 166,000 seats per annum,” he says.

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