The China-Australia Year of Tourism, aimed at helping to grow Australia’s tourism industry, was launched at the Sydney Opera House yesterday.
In a joint statement, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, and the Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, Dr Li Jinzao said the new campaign would help to bring the two countries closer together.
The China-Australia Year of Tourism would provide more opportunities for further engagement at every level – economic, commercial, social, and academic.
Mr Ciobo said the year will help grow Australia’s tourism industry by promoting Australia to China.
“China is Australia’s most valuable tourism market, with the potential to be worth more than $13 billion by 2020,” he said.
“Last year 1.2 million Chinese visited Australia – we anticipate this will grow during the China-Australia Year of Tourism and will continue to grow afterwards. The more visitors we can attract to Australia, the more jobs will be created.”
Dr Li said the decision by both countries to hold the China-Australia Year of Tourism will go a long way to promoting bilateral exchanges in tourism and other fields and enhancing the friendship between the two nations.
Recent initiatives to increase tourism flows
“China values its tourism cooperation with Australia and welcomes more Australian friends to visit China. It is hoped that two-way tourism flow will increase further from the current level of two million visits per year,” Dr Li said.
Recent initiatives to support further two way tourism flows between China and Australia include the historic open aviation market air services arrangement which removes all capacity restrictions between Australia and China for airlines of both countries.
“We are also improving the competitiveness of Australia’s visa system by trialling a 10-year multiple entry visitor visa and enabling online visa lodgement applications in simplified Chinese,” Mr Ciobo said.
Australia and China have planned a number of significant events to be held during the Year of Tourism.
- Ministerial trade missions to China
- Marketing and airline partnerships
- A Business Events Showcase
- Sporting, cultural and educational exchanges
Activities to be organized by China include an arrival ceremony at the ancient city gate of Xi’an for 1,000 Australian tourists and the Panda Caravan Tour in Australia.