The economic side of the argument, which won, was best expressed by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Martin Craigs, “After decades of myopic dialogue and dubious debate, the decision to move forward with a second city airport delivers great opportunities for the travel industry and next-generation Australian job seekers who should recognize that air connectivity is vital for 21st century employment.”
Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport was bulging at the seams before the current avalanche of Chinese travelers began touring Australia. Since then the issue has been exhaustively debated and until now, continually rejected due to the contentious nature of the subject and the potential impact it would have on voters in marginal constituencies. Chinese visitors to Australia have almost doubled to 715,000 in the past five years.
PATA was part of what it calls an “aligned advocacy” that also included the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC) partners, which include IATA, ACI, UNWTO and WTTC. In addition, many local travel industry advocates, not least Tourism Australia, Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and the Transport and Tourism Forum (TTF) were advocating for a second airport.
The advocates assert that the new airport will catalyze between AUD $11.6 billion and AUD $15.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2050. It will create up to 20,000 jobs when the airport becomes fully operational. Both directly and indirectly the airport could create up to 46,285 full-time equivalent jobs by 2050.
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