Sydney Airport has welcomed the federal government’s announcement to introduce three-year, multiple entry tourist visas for Chinese visitors to Australia, which will support the recent government announcement of increased air rights between Australia and China.
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb AO MP announced the initiative at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Adelaide on Friday night.
“We welcome the Australian Government’s introduction of multiple entry visas for Chinese tourists, which will generate increased visitation from Australia’s second largest inbound visitor market,” Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said.
“We’ve worked closely with Minister Robb and the federal government to emphasise the importance of visa reform to Australia’s tourism sector, highlighting the potential benefits to the economy that more Chinese tourists will deliver.
“With growing affluence and a rising middle class, China is a huge growth market for Sydney Airport, with Chinese passengers set to become our largest international visitor market by 2016.
“As the international gateway to Australia, Sydney Airport welcomes this important and growing market with simplified Chinese wayfinding signage, Mandarin-speaking Red Ambassadors assisting passengers at our International terminal, a Chinese iPhone app and website, translated terminal guides and a number of other ‘China ready’ initiatives.
“China now ranks as the largest international contributor of visitor nights and expenditure in NSW. For the year ending September 2014, almost 790,000 Chinese visitors travelled to Australia, which contributed more than $4.8 billion to the national economy.
“We know from our research that there is a huge appetite for travel amongst the new middle class in China, but the full potential will only be realised through securing better aviation access, such as simplified and cost effective visa arrangements.
“Ongoing visa reform will ensure Australia remains competitive in a global tourism market, providing easy access for travellers seeking an authentic Australian experience.
“We congratulate Minister Robb and the federal government on this important reform measure and encourage the government to continue working with industry to identify new opportunities for reform to support and grow our international tourism industry.”