[photopress:air_china_eastern.jpg,full,alignright]Queensland business, tourism, investment and aviation bodies have launched a campaign to attract direct air services between mainland China and Brisbane.
The move comes as the airline China Eastern is about to begin a trial of Brisbane-Shanghai services that will end in February.
Note that all of the states in Australia compete viciously for the tourism dollar. The rivalry is especially marked between Queensland and Sydney. Queensland is not happy that the bulk of tourists go to Sydney at least as a first stop. And a fair percentage never gets past that.
So six Queensland tourist groups have formed the China Aviation Action Group.
Chairman Jim Carden, of the Brisbane Airport Corporation, said success of the China Eastern service was vital to the long-term future of direct services to Queensland. His group hoped to increase awareness among business and tourism stakeholders in both markets of the need for direct non-stop air services.
He said the China market was growing by about 20% a year and there had been 150,000 visitors to Queensland last year.
But a lack of direct flights meant travelers were forced to endure stop-overs at cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. (The word ‘endure’ comes fom the announcement. Whether it is correct in the context of those three amazing cities is another question.)
Jim Carden said, ‘There is a huge opportunity for both Australian and Chinese airlines to service the Queensland market.
‘With the opportunities that have arisen with the resources boom, the sustained growth in the Chinese economy, the attractiveness of Australia as a destination and the Beijing Olympics, we are convinced that the benefits will begin to flow for airlines willing to take on direct services to Brisbane.’