China Southern Airlines confirms daily flights to Brisbane
Queensland's tourism industry has received another boost today with China Southern Airlines officially confirming it will increase its Guangzhou-Brisbane route to a daily service from 21 November 2013.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey welcomed the news, which represented a 75 per cent increase in the route's current capacity.
"This is fantastic news for Queensland and a show of confidence in our tourism industry," Ms Stuckey said.
"The new daily service will add more than 33,000 available seats for Chinese visitors to access Queensland each year.
"Increasing aviation access is paramount to the strength of Queensland's tourism industry and the Government's goal is to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020."
Ms Stuckey said China was now Queensland's second largest international market and one of its fastest growing.
Queensland welcomed 279,000 Chinese travellers in the year to March 2013, according to the latest Tourism Research Australia figures.
The overall number of Chinese visitors to Queensland was up 23 per cent in the year - these visitors spent $511 million on their trips to the State, $109 million more than the previous year.
"China Southern Airlines launched its first direct service to Queensland in November 2010 with three-weekly flights," Ms Stuckey said.
"The State shares a strong relationship with the airline which is only strengthened by today's announcement."
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls recently met with officials from China Southern in Guangzhou to encourage further flights as part of his trade mission in July.
"That meeting reinforced the Newman Government's commitment to this partnership and the strong potential for future growth," Mr Nicholls said.
"Guangzhou is one of the economic powerhouses of China and it's fantastic to have direct access to what is an increasingly important market.
"The strength of our relationships with Chinese partners are the result of our efforts to reach out to this market and are bolstered through regular government-led trade and investment missions."
Mr Stuckey said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) would continue to work closely with China Southern Airlines and other industry partners to support the service with marketing activity in China.
"It's a great achievement to have built this demand and secured daily flights in just under three years since the inaugural flight," she said.
China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He said the airline was pleased with the positive response to its Queensland flights.
"Queensland offers wonderful natural attractions and great shopping and nightlife experiences that appeal to Chinese travellers," Mr He said.