China prom­ises to boost fig­ures

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Gizelle Ghidella

THE Dou­glas Shire could be buzzing with Chi­nese visi­tors in the typ­i­cal “quiet time” as early as this De­cem­ber.

More than 33,000 Chi­nese visi­tors are ex­pected to touch down within the next year to pump at least $90 mil­lion into the re­gion after a land­mark agree­ment was reached for di­rect flights to Cairns.

China South­ern Air­lines will run three flights a week from Guangzhou to Cairns start­ing this De­cem­ber.

Tara Ben­nett, ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree wel­comes the news and hopes to see the flights boost vis­i­ta­tion in the wet sea­son.

“It’s great, news,” she said.

“It will help al­le­vi­ate the down­turn we ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Their tra­di­tional trav­el­ling time is our qui­eter time and that’s why this mar­ket is so at­trac­tive.

“Des­ti­na­tion wed­dings have been iden­ti­fied as one of the op­por­tu­ni­ties for us as well as the more ad­ven­tur­ous Chi­nese trav­ellers who are want­ing to get away from the main­stream ex­pe­ri­ence.

“That’s where Port Dou­glas and the Dain­tree can be at­trac­tive to them.”

The Moss­man Gorge, wildlife at­trac­tions and vis­its to the reef will be on the radar for in­com­ing Chi­nese tourists as it’s re­ally big well as sam­pling Aus­tralian pro­duce.

“It’s a re­ally good op­por­tu­nity for a lot of our dif­fer­ent sec­tors to ben­e­fit from their vis­i­ta­tion,” said Ms Ben­nett.

The flights will not only at­tract an in­flux of Chi­nese tourists but it will open air­ways for tourists trav­el­ling from Europe.

“We see it as an op­por­tu­nity not just for Chi­nese trav­ellers but some of our more tra­di­tional west­ern mar­kets to have bet­ter avi­a­tion ac­cess to the re­gion,” Tara said.

“Any new avi­a­tion into Cairns pro­vides a great op­por- tu­nity for our re­gion.”

Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt said the new flights were a gamechanger for the re­gion.

“This is great news for tourism and jobs in the Far North,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to of­fer di­rect ac­cess to Cairns and the Great Bar­rier Reef from main­land China.

“The ex­tra vis­i­ta­tion re­gion will help grow the econ­omy and jobs and sup­port busi­ness.”

Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt with Chi­nese tourists cel­e­brate the an­nounce­ment of di­rect flights.

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