The Chinese tourism boom has been given added impetus with Australia and China agreeing to an open aviation market, removing all capacity restrictions for airlines from each country.
“We have also liberalised traffic rights and code share arrangements, which are important for Australian airlines,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester.
“This will enable Australian and Chinese airlines to service destinations between and beyond both countries, and allow them to take full advantage of their cooperative arrangements with their commercial alliance partners.”
Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said the historic agreement will further stimulate Chinese tourism to Australia.
“China is Australia’s fastest growing and highest spending international visitor market,” he said.
“More than 1 million Chinese tourists visited Australia in 2015-16 (up 22.3 per cent from the previous year), and spent almost $9 billion during their stay.
He added, “The outbound China market is predicated to double to over 200 million travellers annually by 2020 and this agreement will help Australia snare a larger slice of that.”
In other initiatives, the Australian Government has introduced of fast-track visa processing for Chinese tourists and confirmed that 10-year multiple entry visas for eligible Chinese visitors will be introduced later this month.