- Countdown starts for launch of inaugural All Nippon Airlines direct flight from Japan
- Flights will grow Japanese tourist numbers by 76,000, boost economy by $175.5 million in three years and create hundreds of jobs
- Japan Business Forum told new route is part of WA's strategic engagement with Asia
- Forum is the fifth in Asia Business Series aimed at boosting trade, investment and tourism
Perth is gearing up to welcome its first planeload of visitors on the inaugural All Nippon Airways (ANA) direct flight service from Tokyo on September 1.
The historic nine-hour ANA flight - the first to fly direct between Perth and Japan since 2011 - is fully booked with 184 passengers and is due to touchdown in Perth about 8:15pm next Sunday.
Multiple media platforms in Japan are promoting the flights through a Tourism WA, Tourism Australia and ANA advertising campaign featuring popular singer and actor, 'Nissy' - touring the Pinnacles, Kings Park, Rottnest Island, Fremantle and the Swan Valley.
Trade familiarisations and travel agent training will also raise awareness of the direct service and Western Australia as the holiday destination of choice.
The importance of the new route, not only to WA's tourism sector but also for its wider trade and investment opportunities, will be flagged as part of the discussions at the Japan Business Forum held in Perth today.
Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia will speak at the forum which will focus on WA's trade relationship with Japan - WA's biggest export market for petroleum and second biggest market for iron ore and nickel.
Japan's leading status as 'investor in Southeast Asian infrastructure' highlights its importance of to our State's trade - crucial to WA's increasing trade relations with rapidly expanding Asian markets.
Other speakers due to address today's forum will include Ryo Sadayuki, Managing Director - All Nippon Airways, Hitoshi Okawa, President Director - INPEX Australia and Masaki Takahara, Managing Director - Japan External Trade Organisation.
The Japan Business Forum is co-ordinated by the Department of Jobs, Science, Tourism and Innovation in partnership with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Perth, the Consulate-General of Japan in Perth, Japan External Trade Organisation and the Australia Japan Society.
It is estimated that over three years, the ANA direct flights from Perth to Japan, will bring around 76,000 new visitors to Perth and provide a $175.5 million boost to the WA economy.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"The discussions of the Japan Business Forum are particularly timely given the inaugural ANA direct flight coming into Perth from Tokyo in just over a week.
"ANA showed their willingness to work with us to grow WA tourism - by committing to the Tokyo-Perth direct flight services - which we are confident will be a win-win arrangement.
"We know visitors from Japan rate both modern facilities and natural wonders high on their travel wish lists.
"The direct flights will make Perth's modern accommodation and dining options, our stunning coastline and unique flora and fauna, much more accessible to this important market.
"We look forward to a successful ongoing relationship with ANA that will mean more Japanese tourists have the holiday of a lifetime here in WA."
Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley:
"WA's tourism sector will not be the only beneficiary of direct flights between Perth and Japan. There is a direct correlation between direct flights and increased trade and services - including international student numbers.
"The Asian Business Series is part of the McGowan Government's plan to build relationships and trade with the rapidly growing and dynamic economies of Asia, to diversify our economy and create jobs.
"The Japan Business Forum is particularly important given WA's long and prosperous history of trade and the evolving nature of our respective economies.
"As a mature and technology-based economy, Japan presents a very different set of opportunities to many other Asian countries, and the forum will play a vital role in increasing our mutual understanding about where and how to increase trade and investment.
"The example of the new ANA direct flights between Perth and Japan demonstrates that the McGowan Government and WA are open for business and eager to build even stronger relationships with Japan's trade and business leaders."
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600
Asian Engagement Minister's office - 6552 5300