Our region is on the cusp of an exciting transition, set to rebrand as Queensland Country in 2024. This change represents not just a new name, but a renewed commitment to showcasing the unique beauty, culture, and experiences our region offers.
We will be hosting a series of industry consultation sessions with Hannah Statham from Media Mortar, in January and February across the region, and invite you to participate, voice your ideas, share your stories, and help us shape the region's tourism brand. Your insights and contributions are invaluable in this collaborative effort to redefine and elevate our regional identity.
Additionally, we will be running a second series of industry consultation sessions focusing on the development of the regions 2024-26 Destination Management Plan. With Krista Hauritz at the helm, these sessions are crucial in crafting a plan that truly reflects the diverse needs, strengths, and aspirations of our communities. Your participation and input are essential in creating a roadmap that will guide our region towards sustainable growth and success.
According to a new report from Tourism Research Australia, total tourism consumption for the latest financial year has outperformed the value delivered before the pandemic. This is a remarkable achievement, indicating an 8% increase in total tourism value compared to the 2018-19 period. The Australian economy has reaped the benefits of this growth, with a total tourism consumption of $164.5 billion. These figures are a testament to the resilience and hard work of everyone in our industry, and they underscore the vital role tourism plays in our economy.
In further good news, Brisbane Airport continues to expand its connections with international carriers. Singapore Airlines has announced plans to operate an additional four services a week from November 2024. This expansion marks an important milestone for the airline, bringing it to 99% of its pre-COVID capacity Australia-wide. The additional services will also increase the airline's operations to 25 flights per week directly from Brisbane to Singapore. This enhanced connectivity is a significant boon for our region, making it more accessible to international travellers and further bolstering our tourism industry.
We would also like to welcome the new Minister for Tourism and Sport, Hon. Michael Healy MP. Originally from Cairns, Michael has worked in the tourism industry for over 25 years, during which he worked closely with inbound tourism operators and contributed to the success of Cairns as a global tourism hub. We are stoked to have Michael as our Tourism Minister and look forward to working together in growing the great Queensland region and moving forward to the 2032 Olympics.
As we wind down for the year and look ahead to 2024, I encourage all operators who feel ready to join our Trade Ready program to reach out before the 20th of January. This program is an excellent opportunity for businesses to enhance their offerings and be part of the exciting trade developments in our region.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement throughout the year. Your dedication and passion are the driving forces behind our region’s success. As we celebrate this festive season, let's also look forward to a new year filled with more incredible experiences, opportunities, and achievements.