29 January 2009

QLD tourism spoiling their Chinese tourists

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This week, around 1,500 Chinese tourists have landed in Far-North Queensland of Australia on four chartered flights to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the sunshine.

After being met with traditional Chinese lion dancers, they now have the opportunity of celebrating the New Year in Australian-style, at the Gold Coast's famous theme park Dreamworld.

With each activity presented in Mandarin, the tourists will be able to cuddle koalas, experience a sheep-shearing show, and get up-close and personal with native Australian animals, watch a film about Australian animals and witness a live presentation, which will all be followed up with a Chinese banquet.

"January 26 is the beginning of the biggest week for us where we get hundreds and hundreds of Chinese tourists through our gates daily.  If all goes according to plan, then this is going to be Dreamworld’s strongest Chinese New Year yet," Dreamworld’s International sales manager, Erin Rolfe said.

"Over the past four years, we have worked hard to attract the Chinese visitor.  We’ve met with wholesalers, we’ve hired Chinese speaking team members, we’ve tweaked our product offering, and we’ve come up with a package that covers off the activities they told us they want."

After New Zealand, China is now Dreamworld's largest international market and its numbers have sailed past that from the traditionally strong market from Japan.

To get an Australian holiday visa, Chinese tourists to Australian 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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