Tourism Australia and Air China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will see them work closely together to promote travel to Australia.
The MoU was signed in Beijing by Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy and Air China Senior Vice President Mingyuan Wang, with Tourism Australia Chairman Geoff Dixon and Air China President Jianjiang Cai also in attendance.
Under the three year agreement, the two parties will work together on a range of co-operative marketing initiatives, including advertising, PR, and events aimed at attracting more international visitors from Australia’s most valuable inbound market, China. As part of the deal, Tourism Australia will also provide training to Air China and its agents.
Mr McEvoy said growing aviation services from China was critical in ensuring Australia achieves its Tourism 2020 goal of 900,000 Chinese visitors by the end of the decade.
“This deal provides a strong platform for us to work with Air China to grow aviation services and drive inbound tourism from China. It brings together Australia’s world class tourism resources and Air China’s extensive flight networks, to attract more Chinese visitors to our country,” Mr McEvoy said.
“The signing of this MoU will further foster Air China network expansion into Australia. Through the cooperation, Air China passengers will be offered a wide variety of travel products and the airline’s global network will also facilitate better tourism exchange for Chinese and foreign travellers,” Mr Wang said.
Australia was the first western country to receive Approved Destination Status (ADS) for Chinese tourists. China is now Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable international inbound market, with A$4.2 billion in overnight expenditure in 2012, a growth of 13% on 2011. Visitor numbers from China grew 16% during 2012, making it the second largest inbound market for Australia after New Zealand.
Currently, Air China has 14 flights each week from Beijing and Shanghai to Sydney and Melbourne. In high season this will increase to 16 flights per week, with future additional services also being considered.
Air China uses Beijing as the Chinese hub for passengers travelling from other Chinese cities and has recently introduced an express custom service in Sydney and Melbourne airports for First and Business class passengers as well as Platinum members to improve customer service for its passengers.