China-Australia Tourism Year of 2017 Opens in Sydney
On February 5, local time, CNTA chairman Li Jinzao and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo jointly unveiled the China-Australia Tourism Year at the Sydney Opera House.
Hosting the tourism year is a joint decision made by state leaders of both countries and it’s expected to bring the two countries closer and create more opportunities for in-depth bilateral exchange in economic, commercial, social and academic spheres.
According to CNTA chairman Li Jinzao, the decision to host the bilateral tourism year means a lot for promoting bilateral tourism exchange, boosting development in various areas and deepening the people-to-people bond. China values tourism cooperation with Australia, welcomes more Australian visitors and expects the two-way tourism exchange between the two countries to grow further from the present size of nearly two million visits.
According to Minister Ciobo, the tourism year will help promote Australian tourism resources in China and then boost its tourism development. China is the most valued tourism market for Australia, with the market value expected to exceed 13 billion US dollars by 2020. Last year, Australia received 1.2 million visitors from China and the number is expected to grow in 2017 and later. The growing number of tourists will mean more jobs for Australian people.
Recently a series of measures have been rolled out to promote two-way tourism exchange between China and Australia. Among them is a historic transport arrangement to open the aviation market and remove all capacity constraints imposed on Chinese and Australian airline companies. In addition, the Australian government has launched the ten-year multi-entry visa pilot program and the online visa application process in simplified Chinese to make Australian visa more attractive for Chinese tourists.
It’s learnt that more events are to be held during the tourism year, including organizing 1,000 Australian tourists to visit the ancient city of Xi’an and the Panda Caravan’s Tour around Australia campaign by the Chinese side and the visit of the ministerial economic and trade delegation to China, tourism marketing and aviation cooperation, business promotion and sports, cultural and education exchange by the Australian side.