Chinese visitation to Victoria is set to surge again now that Xiamen Air is flying to Melbourne Airport, according to the Victorian Government.
Victoria’s acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Philip Dalidakis, was on the tarmac to watch a water cannon welcome for the Chinese carrier, which will operate a twice-weekly non-stop service between Melbourne and Xiamen.
The new service is viewed in Victoria as a vote of confidence in that state and another boost to the state’s Chinese visitation stocks.
“Xiamen Air’s arrival in Melbourne is another vote of confidence in Victoria’s tourism industry and a big win for the economy,” Dalidakis said.
“Victoria’s visitor economy is a key growth market for our future prosperity and the Andrews Labor Government is working hard to attract more airlines to our great state.
“Ultimately, more international visitors here means more opportunities for our local businesses and jobs.”
Some 532,000 Chinese nationals visited Victoria in the year ending March 2016.
Chinese visitor expenditure now accounts for a third of total visitor expenditure in Victoria, and is larger than the state’s next six markets combined.
Last week saw the launch of Visit Victoria, the new entity charged with keeping Victoria at the forefront in tourism and major events.
More than 33 million people passed through the Melbourne Airport terminals in 2015, including 8.7 million international travellers.
Edited by Peter Needham