28 January 2009

China stepping up its tourism in far-north Australia

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A Chinese airline is providing a much-needed boost to Queensland tourism starting today, reports e-Travel Blackboard.

Four tourist charter flights are due to land in tropical Cairns over the next few days, which will be bringing with them around 1,500 much-needed money-spending tourists.

Tourism operators are hoping the exposure to Chinese tourists this week and their efforts to impress their Chinese visitors (starting with traditional Chinese lion dancers upon arrival in Australia) would convince China Southern Airlines to follow through with plans to expand their flight routes to include direct Guangzhou-Brisbane flights.  Already, China Southern flies daily non-stop flights from Sydney and two weekly non-stop flights from Melbourne. 

"Australia is an increasingly popular destination for travellers from China, and tropical Far-North Queensland provides not only an exciting and different holiday opportunity but a great respite from the northern hemisphere winter," said James Liu, General Manager Australia for China Southern Airlines.

"This injects a significant amount of money into the Australian tourism industry and provides valuable exposure in China for this great region of Australia."

To get an Australian holiday visa, Chinese tourists to Australia have to apply for an Australian tourist visa (subclass 676) – long stay.  This type of visa allows holders to holiday in Australia for up to 12 months, with multiple entries into the country.  Visitors on this visa cannot work during these 12 months and can study for up to three months of the twelve-month period.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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