Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has invited Chinese travellers to ‘Come and Say G’day’ during his recent visit to China as the nation’s visitors return Down Under.
Speaking at a lunch that was hosted by Tourism Australia, Albanese highlighted the relationship between China and Australia and the integral role that tourism plays.
“Few things help that (are) better than travel to each other’s countries. To get a glimpse into each other’s lives and cultures, to see the places we have built, and the landscapes that have helped to shape us,” Albanese said.
That is just one of the reasons tourism is so important.
“In 2019, China was Australia’s No 1 tourism market. With the travel between China and Australia resuming this year we are so excited about the return of Chinese travellers – you have been greatly missed.”
He added that this is why the Australian Government decided to launch its global tourism campaign in China.
“Our message to travellers is to ‘Come and Say G’day’ – to experience our unique natural beauty, to taste the flavours of Australia and, of course, to meet our people.”
Australian and Chinese businesses have a lot to offer one another.
And stabilising our relationship means more trade and more jobs in both our countries.
Our approach has been patient, calibrated and deliberate.
And we’re seeing results. pic.twitter.com/HdAydGSo35
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) November 5, 2023
Prior to the pandemic, about 1.4 million Chinese travellers visited Australia each year, but the current figures are well below that.
Tourism Australia estimates that the visitor numbers are at approximately 50 per cent of pre-pandemic travel numbers.
Chinese tourism to Australia has been hindered by China’s slow reopening to the world and lowered commercial aviation capacity. The latter currently sits at 86 per cent of pre-COVID levels and most flights are operated by China Southern, Air China, China Eastern and Qantas, which resumed operations last week.
Albanese was accompanied by the minister for tourism, trade and investment Don Farrell alongside Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff, who has spoken greatly of the need for additional capacity.
“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, China was Queensland’s leading source of international visitor income with 497,000 Chinese travellers contributing just over $1.61 billion in overnight visitor expenditure,” de Graaff said.
“75 per cent of Queensland’s international visitors transit through Brisbane Airport so securing additional flights and capacity from China is important for tourism and hospitality businesses right across the state, not to mention our farmers and local businesses who export perishable and time sensitive goods via air freight.”
Albanese has had a private dinner with Chinese premier Li Qiang and will have a formal meeting with president Xi Jinping later today.
(Featured Image: Anthony Albanese and Li Qiang – Twitter/@AlboMP)
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