Alex Dalland

A marketing partnership between Destination NSW and Air China aims to boost visitor numbers from Australia’s biggest tourism market.

The agreement, launched today, will involve promoting travel to Sydney and Regional New South Wales through travel companies in Australia associated with Air China, as well as through Air China’s Silver, Gold and Platinum ‘Phoenix Miles’ Frequent Flyer programs. Air China is the flag-carrying airline of China. The airline is also one of the largest airlines in the country, with over 7.5 million passengers carried in January alone according to Air China’s latest figures.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the agreement will be a key step in promoting New South Wales as a major destination for Chinese tourists, including nearby regional areas surrounding Sydney.

“We are delighted to be working with Air China, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, bringing even more Chinese visitors to our fantastic city and surrounding NSW regions,” Mr Ayres said.

“This agreement demonstrates the NSW Government is focused on increasing visitation from China which is our number one inbound tourism market. We look forward to welcoming many more Chinese visitors to our State.”

According to statistics from Destination NSW, there were over 426,000 visitors to Australia from China in 2015. Since 2010, there has been an 81 per cent increase in Chinese visitors to New South Wales.

General Manager of Experience Tours Australia Frank Chou specialises in Australian inbound tours for visitors from Asia including China and India as well as South East Asia. Chou believes that further considerations will need to be made behind this proposal in order to facilitate greater numbers of visitors.

“My concern is whether Australia’s tourism industry is really ready for that huge market? There is currently not enough accommodation available in capital cities and regional areas,” Chou says.

“There is also a focus on the Chinese market while not enough attention is being paid to other key markets such as Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.”
The marketing campaign will begin in March, ending in June 2016.