Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones today said the agreement was signed with China Southern Airlines in Guangzhou, further strengthening trade ties with the state’s fastest growing tourism market.
“Growing the Asian market to support tourism and industry jobs in Queensland is a top priority of the Palaszczuk Government,” Ms Jones said.
“The agreement is a significant win for the state’s tourism industry as we look to grow aviation access into Queensland.
“It will ensure increased marketing of Queensland’s iconic destinations into key cities like Guangzhou, enticing travellers to come to our state and experience the best natural encounters, fresh food and warm hospitality.
“Our message to Chinese travellers is we are a year-round destination and ready to welcome you.”
China Southern Airlines transported more than 100 million passengers in 2014, ranking the carrier first in Asia and third in the world (Data source: IATA).
China is Queensland’s largest international market by visitor expenditure, with almost 360,000 Chinese visitors spending more than $833 million in Queensland in the last financial year.
Ms Jones said the agreement would offer greater opportunities for cooperative marketing activity while building on Queensland’s strong partnership with China Southern Airlines and its existing route into Brisbane.
“With a renewed commitment in place, we will work with China Southern Airlines on opportunities to grow airline capacity and leverage partner channels to entice more visitors to visit the best address on earth,” she said.
“We work closely with partners through Tourism and Events Queensland, including airports and regional tourism organisations, to attract aviation access from key cities in China.”
China Southern Airlines President and CEO Mr Tan Wangeng said he was confident the partnership would see more Chinese visitors travelling to Queensland.
“This partnership marks a new era in our relationship with Queensland and we look forward to further growth,” President Tan said.
“In addition, China Southern Airlines is growing its market share of European travellers and Guangzhou is a gateway for these visitors to access Queensland.”