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Boost tourism from China – give ’em Aussie Rules!

November 6, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Australian Football League (AFL), also called Aussie Rules, football or just footy, is the key to luring more Chinese tourists to Australia, according to Australia’s Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.

AFL has the highest spectator attendance and television viewership of all sports in Australia and the AFL Grand Final, held annually at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is said to be the highest attended club championship event in the world.

Now AFL is set to work its magic in China, backed by Tourism Australia which will once again partner with the AFL when Shanghai plays host to a 2019 Toyota AFL premiership game.

Birmingham, who is currently in Shanghai, has announced Tourism Australia as the official tourism sponsor of the game, which will see South Australia’s Port Adelaide take on Victorian team St Kilda in June 2019.

“As a passionate Australian rules football fan, I’m delighted that more people around the world will get a taste of the thrills and spills of Aussie rules football,” Birmingham said.

“This will not only be a great opportunity to help promote the game in China, but also presents a platform to promote Australia as a world-class tourism destination.

“Whilst we are seeing Chinese tourists flock to our shores in record numbers, there is still huge potential for growth given China’s population, its continued economic growth, proximity to Australia and the continuing growth of direct flights between Australia and China.

“Aussie rules football demonstrates many of the fun loving, outdoors focused, athletic and competitive attributes that help to make Australia a diverse and attractive tourism destination. The game is also a promotional opportunity leveraged by many Australian businesses working in China.

“I congratulate Tourism Australia and the AFL for the work they’re doing to not only grow our great game but to promote Australia to the rest of the world as a must visit tourist destination.”

The match will be broadcast on Guangzhou TV and Shanghai TV and will coincide with various marketing and promotional activities to help entice more Chinese travellers to Australia.

This will be the third AFL premiership game to be played in China with the previous matches in 2017 and 2018 smashing viewership records.

The China market is an important tourism market for Australia with new figures released last week revealing 1.3 million Chinese visitors travelled to Australia in 2017-18, spending over AUD 11 billion in Australia’s restaurants, hotels and shops.

Written by Peter Needham

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