Japanese travellers returning to Queensland

After a decade of consistent declines, the number of Japanese visitors passing through Brisbane Airport is showing some encouraging signs of recovery with over 4,100 arrivals and departures recorded in February, a 30.8 per cent year-on-year growth.

Ranking as Brisbane’s fifth largest tourist market in 2010, Japan fell to fourteenth place in 2011, but has since recovered some ground, now ranking as Brisbane Airport’s tenth largest visitor market.

With no increase in direct seat capacity responsible for the February upturn, the growth in the number of Japanese visitors through Brisbane Airport would appear to be due to a renewed interest in travel to Australia.

Brisbane Airport CEO and Managing Director, Julieanne Alroe, said while Queensland’s share of Japan’s total outbound market had decreased in the last decade Japanese travellers are rekindling their love affair with Queensland.

“While there has been a significant downturn in visitors from Japan in recent years, and especially following last year’s earthquake and tsunami, our February statistics are a promising sign that Japan is healing from this tragedy and that Queensland is again regaining popularity as a key leisure destination for Japanese travellers.

“Notably, the growth in Japanese visitors to Brisbane considerably exceeds the national year-on-year growth for this market which was 2.1 per cent for January,” Ms Alroe added.

Overall, total passenger numbers through Brisbane Airport increased by 8.2 per cent, with an additional 116,000 travellers through the Domestic and International Terminals compared to the same time last year.

Separately, international passengers increased by 6.3 per cent year-on-year, with domestic traffic up 8.6 per cent for the same period.

During February, an additional 200,000 seats to and from Brisbane were offered and more than 1,800 extra flights operated during the month.