Senior travel delegates visit China to launch ‘Come and Say G’Day’ campaign

Senior travel delegates visit China to launch ‘Come and Say G’Day’ campaign

An array of senior Australian travel industry delegates are visiting China this week ahead of the Chinese launch of the Come and Say G’Day campaign later in the week.

The delegation includes Tourism Australia managing director, Phillipa Harrison, State and Territory tourism organisation leaders, business events leaders and airport representatives.

From today, the delegation will meet with important partners in China, including major airlines China Southern and China Eastern, as well as major Chinese travel service providers, including Trip.com and Jinjiang Travel.

Harrison highlighted the importance of the timing of this visit as Chinese travellers return Down Under.

“China is such an important market for Australia’s visitor economy and that’s why the timing of this visit with tourism and business events industry leaders is so critical as we welcome the return of Chinese travellers,” Harrison said.

The delegation will take part in meetings with major airlines and travel providers, showing Australia’s commitment to work with partners to strengthen aviation capacity between our two countries and get travel bookings to Australia back to the levels we have seen in the past.”

Prior to 2020, which saw a decade of vast growth in travel from China to Australia, a strong aviation environment led to an average of 158 flights per week, totalling 2.2 million seats a year in 2019.

Seat capacity from China will return to 54 per cent this month, or 70 flights per week. This is up from 42 per cent last month (May) and up from about 5 per cent at the end of 2022.

Now that aviation capacity has returned to more than half of 2019 levels Tourism Australia will be launching the global Come and Say G’day campaign into China. The launch will be held in Chengdu on Thursday, 29 June.

Come and Say G’day was released in other markets in October 2022, but this will be the first time China is introduced to Tourism Australia’s brand ambassador Ruby the Kangaroo.

Underlying demand in China for an Australian holiday remains strong and according to Trip.com Australia is ranked as a top destination.

Minister Farrell said he was pleased to see this strong aviation recovery and interest in Australia.

“Chinese travellers have long been an important part of Australia’s visitor economy. China was Australia’s biggest market in 2019, with 1.4 million Chinese travellers visiting and contributing $12.4 billion in visitor spend,” Farrell said.

“We are pleased to see that since the start of the year aviation capacity between China and Australia has rebounded to more than 50 per cent of 2019 levels.

“Along with capacity building to support demand for more Chinese travellers to visit Australia, the timing is right time to introduce Ruby the kangaroo with an invitation to Chinese travellers to Come and Say G’day.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics latest visitor arrivals numbers, show for the month of April the number of Chinese travellers who visited Australia returned to about 33 per cent, compared to the same month in 2019. This was up from 22 per cent in March.

In 2019, China was Australia’s leading visitor market with Australia welcoming 1.4 million visitors from China, contributing $12.4 billion in visitor spend.  

The latest Tourism Research Australia Tourism Forecasts’ project visitor arrivals from China returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2026.

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