Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines have deepened their commercial relationship, signing a new partnership agreement that will accelerate their existing marketing activities in China.
The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Adelaide by Tourism Australia Regional General Manager, North Asia Andrew Hogg and China Southern Airlines Director Mr Guo Jianye. The signing was witnessed by Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan and China Southern Airlines President and chief executive Tan Wan Geng.
The ceremony took place following the arrival at Adelaide Airport of China Southern Airlines flight CZ663 from Guangzhou, the first direct commercial passenger flight between China and South Australia.
As part of the new deal, funding will go towards a range of campaigns and joint promotional activities, targeting Australia’s most valuable inbound market currently delivering close to 1.2m visitor arrivals and worth AUD 9 billion a year.
O’Sullivan said that building a strong relationship with China Southern Airlines had been a top priority for Tourism Australia since its long-term, strategic plan for China was unveiled in 2010.
“China Southern continues to invest significantly in its Australian network and in Australian tourism. The airline now carries a fifth of all Chinese arrivals into Australia, more than any other international carrier. As we approach 2017, the designated ‘Australia-China Year of Tourism’, we look forward to building upon this important partnership,” O’Sullivan said.
President Tan said that he had great confidence in the Australian market.
“Australia is a market we value highly where we still see opportunities to expand our operations further, as demonstrated by our decision to add Adelaide to our global network,” he said.
In the past 12 months, China Southern Airlines has increased capacity to Australia by 35%, with 56 weekly services now operating between Guangzhou and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, as well as Shenzhen to Sydney.
Figures released by Tourism Australia indicate that spending by Chinese visitors to Australia could rise to A$13 billion annually by 2020. Chinese visitors currently spend an average of AUD 8000 each on every visit to Australia, more than any other source market.
Edited by Peter Needham