South Australia will welcome hundreds of Chinese visitors in time for Chinese New Year on two charter flights direct from mainland China.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said the flights had been secured off the back of gains in air access into the state, including the introduction of Emirates flights, an increase in services from Malaysia and Singapore airlines and the return of Tiger Airways flights to Adelaide.
Minister Bignell said the 2013 Chinese charter flights were in line with the South Australian Tourism Commission’s aviation strategy, which aimed to grow existing carriers and introduce new carriers into Adelaide.
“Creating easier access into Adelaide is key to enticing more people to visit South Australia’s landscapes, world-class events and enjoy our superb hospitality,” Minister Bignell said.
“The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) has a key focus on the Chinese market and our priority is to secure an airline providing direct access from mainland China to Adelaide.
“China is the largest and fastest growing of all inbound tourism markets and represents a huge opportunity for us to increase visitor numbers and expenditure for South Australia.”
The State Government recently announced the South Australia China Engagement Strategy, aimed at strengthening links with Chinese industry operators.
The SATC’s strategy complements this and supports boosting South Australia’s capacity to capitalise on the growing Chinese tourism market.
Minister Bignell said the charter flights would build awareness of South Australia in China and were a great opportunity for local operators to start servicing this newly emerging market.
Chinese charter flight visitors will visit attractions in Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Kangaroo Island, while some are expected to travel to the Limestone Coast.
The two Southern China charter flights will each deliver up to 360 inbound passengers on February 8 and 15.
Additional Chinese visitors are expected to arrive through interstate airports prior to the charter flights and then travel to South Australia to depart on the charter flights.
The charter flights will be operated by a Chinese wholesale travel agent based in Guangzhou and China Southern will provide the aircraft which is expected to be a 360 seat B777-200.