CHINA is hoping to pull in more Australian tourists as tourism offices in both countries work towards promoting two-way leisure travel.
Six Chinese airlines have joined hands to promote tourism in China through coordinating an increase in two-way traffic capacity.
China National Tourist Office director Luo Weijian said that the airlines coming together to “build one market is one of the most exciting aspects of this year of tourism”.
He added, “Rather than six Chinese carriers competing to get a bigger slice of the pie, if we grow that pie everybody will get a bigger slice.”
The deal will introduce direct airline routes access to lesser-visited parts of China including Xi’an and the Sichuan province.
Kathy Zhang, regional general manager for China Eastern Airlines, said that this deal will make it more convenient for Australians to visit a wider range of Chinese cities.
2017 will mark the China-Australia Year of Tourism, a partnership that aims to highlight tourism in both countries.
Luo said, “This is one of the most significant tourism exchange initiatives ever undertaken between China and another country.
“Designating 2017 as the China-Australia Year of Tourism recognises just how important tourism is, not just in terms of export income, but in cultural exchange between Australia and China.
“One of our key objectives is to add greater capacity and more routes between Australia and China.
“This will attract more Australian visitors to China and it will facilitate continued growth in a market that is currently generating more than nine billion Australian dollars in export revenue for Australia.”
According to the Bureau of Statistics, more than one million Chinese visited Australia from July 2015 to June 2016, and spent up upwards of US$6 billion, up 27 percent from the year before.