Past Media Releases

'Can Can' koalafies as Queensland's latest tourism ambassador

27 October 2016

China’s largest airline carrier has forged a lasting friendship with Queensland with a baby Koala named in honour of China Southern Airlines.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones recently met ‘Can Can’ the baby Koala at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. 

Ms Jones said China Southern Airlines President Tan Wan Geng named Can Can following a trade mission to China last November where Queensland secured a three-year marketing agreement with the airline.

“I was honoured to meet with President Tan and China Southern officials in November to discuss our partnership and how we work together to promote Queensland in our fastest growing and biggest tourism market,” she said. 

“It was during that meeting I invited China Southern Airlines to name a koala to recognise our partnership. President Tan and I exchanged letters on my return to Queensland, confirming the naming of one of Lone Pine’s newest members.

“President Tan was happy to accept the invitation and selected the name ‘Can Can’ which symbolises Canton where China Southern Headquarters are located, the Canton route which connects Australia with the rest of the world and the pronunciation of the Chinese characters ‘Kan Kan’ which means ‘take a look’.”

China Southern Airlines General Manager of Queensland and Northern Territory Edward Wang said: “It is our sincere hope that Can Can will serve as a symbol of the friendship between China Southern Airlines and Queensland. 

“We hope that when people who meet Can Can it will be a reminder of our close bond.”

Ms Jones said the record numbers of Chinese travellers visiting Queensland was a direct result of Queensland’s strong partnerships with airlines and trade partners in China. 

“Our relationship with China Southern, China’s largest carrier, is an important part of driving the growth in Queensland’s tourism economy,” she said.

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington said a recent strategic marketing campaign between China Southern, TEQ, Tourism Australia, Brisbane Airport Corporation and Brisbane Marketing achieved strong outcomes. 

“The multi-million dollar China Southern campaign earlier this year delivered significant results which exceeded sales targets and reached more than 73 million people,” Ms Coddington said. 

“The China Southern service to Brisbane achieved a strong inbound load factor during the campaign period and has recently grown to a daily service, demonstrating the importance of direct aviation access to Queensland.

“TEQ looks forward to working with China Southern into the future and delivering more fantastic results for the state.”

Images of Can Can are available upon request.