Published on : Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, today congratulated leading international airline Air China as it marked its 30th anniversary of operating flights between Australia and China. Ms Asher said Air China was a highly valued partner in Victoria’s $19.6 billion tourism sector.
“On 7 September 1984, Air China launched its maiden flight from Beijing to Sydney, the first scheduled service between China and Australia,” Ms Asher said.
“The airline now operates five services per week to Victoria, making it the third largest provider of airline seats between Melbourne and China.
“Air China’s growth in the Australian market reflects the huge increases we have seen in two-way travel between our two countries over the past three decades.
“In addition to being our state’s number one trading partner, China is now Victoria’s largest and most economically significant source market for international tourists.”
In the 12 months to June 2014, 352,000 people from China visited Victoria, accounting for 9.7 million visitor nights and contributing more than $1.2 billion to the state’s economy.
Ms Asher said the Napthine Government recognised the great potential for further growth in the Chinese tourism market.
“Victoria’s China Tourism Strategy sets out a clear plan to further strengthen Victoria’s relationship with China and includes improving airline connections with China as one of its five key priorities. To do this we are committed to working with our key airline partners such as Air China to enable more Chinese tourists to visit our state,” Ms Asher said.