The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) today welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement of improved visa arrangements for Chinese tourists as a strong step forward in supporting the growth of this valuable export market.Speaking from the Australia Week in China (AWIC) events in Shanghai today, ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley, said the announcement would be welcomed by the industry.
“Chinese visitors pose a huge and growing opportunity for our industry and Australian tourism businesses are already well engaged in this market, which grew by a staggering 21% in visitor numbers last year alone.
“One of the key issues our members regularly raise is keeping our competitive edge in the face of fierce competition from alternate destinations, many of whom have made significant policy adjustments to expedite visa application processes for Chinese visitors.
“Creating a Mandarin language visa application is a huge positive for the market and will undoubtedly help Australia to standout as a destination for Chinese visitors.
“Reducing red tape and making it easy for Chinese visitors to say ‘yes’ to Australia is an important element of ensuring we continue to see the outstanding growth in visitation and spend from this market.
“With the Chinese market now worth over $8.3 billion and growing at around 45% year on year, we can’t afford to ignore these barriers to success.”
Mr Shelley also welcomed the new joint marketing campaign between Tourism Australia and Air China along with the focus on tourism announced for 2017.
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today declared 2017 the year of Australian/Chinese tourism, recognising the value and importance export tourism plays in the success of Australia’s economy now and into the future.
“We are pleased to see the Turnbull Government has recognised tourism as Australia’s export powerhouse and will continue to help identify ways to grow these opportunities further.”