MU flights into Cairns ‘much needed’ for tourism: TA

China Eastern’s plans to launch a new direct services into Cairns could boost ‘much needed’ tourism into the region, according to Tourism Australia’s head, as well as offer Australia further benefit from the fast growing market, China.

Launching from October this year with a three times weekly service between Shanghai and Cairns, the tourism bureau’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said joint marketing activities to promote flights would move Australia closer to its 2020 goal of doubling overnight expenditure.

"The additional air capacity represents a huge boost to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland by opening up direct passenger and freight links from the key commercial city of Shanghai and beyond it, many of China’s secondary cities,” Mr McEvoy said.

“Asia will generate close to A$19 billion a year by 2020 for Australian tourism, with China, our most valuable international tourism export market, remaining the key driver.
"The fact that 2.4 million Asian travellers – over 40 per cent of our total international visitors last year came to Australia was unprecedented, but with this level of growth it is important that we are focused on getting the supply side of the equation right.”

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Mariani concurred, adding that the services would bring Queensland to the Chinese market’s door.

“This new China Eastern service will directly link Chinese visitors to one of Australia’s top destinations and shows Queensland is recognised as a highly desirable place to take a break,” she added.

According to local figures, the Chinese market into Cairns was up 39 percent last year over the prior year.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
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