Badgerys Creek gets the green light from the Prime Minister.
The approval of the Western Sydney Airport Plan by the Prime Minister yesterday has been welcomed by industry sectors expecting the new airport will transform the city’s west into a untapped tourism hub and allow Australia to take advantage of a burgeoning Asian inbound market, but has raised concern that suitable plans must be made ahead of launch for a smooth transition or risk failure.
“We’ve had so many false starts on this critical aviation project that very few thought we would ever see the day when the Federal Government gave the green light for a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek to be built – but here we are at last,” The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) CEO, Margy Osmond said.
“The Western Sydney Airport has the potential to fundamentally change the way Sydney operates. If we get the precinct right it will be an economic asset”
“TTF has been a vocal advocate of building transport infrastructure including fast rail to the new Airport to ensure it can reach its full potential.”
“I’ve said before we don’t want it to become a ‘hitchhiker’s airport’ – we must have an ironclad plan to deliver rail as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst Nick Tarrant forecasts over the next decade Chinese tourists is forecasted to surpass 3 million in the next decade with Sydney unable to cope with demand.
According to statistics, growth in Chinese tourism over the next five years is expected to contribute to an additional 2.4 million inbound international arrivals in 2021-22 compared with 2016-17.
“The proposed construction of an airport at Badgerys Creek is a positive step forward in developing Australian tourism capacity, but more should be done for Australia to meet tourism demand over the next five years,” Tarrant warns.
“Sydney’s long-awaited second airport is unlikely to be operational until the mid-2020s, at which point Sydney may be facing as many as 1 million new arrivals per annum.”
“Major Australian airports are already facing capacity constraints and existing infrastructure must expand to absorb new demand,” Tarrant said, adding that Brisbane Airport has already been signed off for expansion, and a new airport on the Sunshine Coast will allow Queensland to absorb more visitors over the next 10 years.
“Australia requires increased infrastructure investment to ensure the country fully capitalises on a tourism wave that could rival the mining boom of the past decade,” Tarrant said.
However the accommodation sector is expected to be ready for the increased arrivals according to Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).
TAA said a new wave of hotel development in Western Sydney with over 1000 new rooms – including 5-star hotels – are scheduled for opening over the next five years.
“The new airport will be an economic game-changer for western Sydney,” TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi said.
“The key to a successful tourism development strategy is that it needs to be integrated. In this case, a major tourism infrastructure project such as Badgerys Creek Airport is being complemented by expansion of hotel and conference/events facilities, and a commitment by the State Government to prioritise jobs and economic growth in the region.”
“One of the biggest issues facing the hotel industry at the moment is access to staff, and the establishment of world-class hotel brands in western Sydney will encourage more young people to start and develop a career in hospitality, without the need to move from western Sydney.”