The number of passengers moving through Cairns airport in far north Queensland is tipped to double within 20 years.
Almost four million passengers used the airport in the 2010-11 financial year.
The federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport is forecasting that number will reach eight million in 2031.
Tourism and Transport Forum spokesman Justin Wastnage says Cairns' connections with China will help drive the growth in the city, despite competition from other regions.
"Queensland is particularly blessed in having so many regional airports and this is symptomatic of being a tourism hub for so many years," he said.
"If you look at regions like Cairns, which has suffered some decline, there's still some very strong growth ahead.
"There's still very strong growth ahead and this is really on the back of the Chinese market and the enduring appeal of the Great Barrier Reef.
"Similarly, Townsville will continue to see growth which is partly to do with resources and partly to do with defence movements but also to do with tourism as well and growing the tourism around there."