Past Media Releases

Chinese tourism push for Cairns

16 December 2016

Acting Premier Curtis Pitt and Tourism Minister Kate Jones have announced that Tropical North Queensland has been given the green light to secure a strategic partnership for the China tourism market.

Mr Pitt said the initiative put forward by a consortium of leading tourism organisations in Cairns will bring more Chinese tourists to the tropical north region.

“This is the first application under the $33.5 million Connecting with Asia fund to gain in-principle support,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is a significant milestone in our efforts to grow tourism from Asia and I want to congratulate the consortium made up of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Cairns Airport, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia.

“The projected growth figures for Chinese visitation to Queensland are incredible and the Palaszczuk Government is keen to partner with enterprises who have experience and vision as to how we can realise this enormous potential. 

“This funding will enable the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry to realise the potential from Asia by partnering with a Chinese airline, travel and media partners to drive additional visitation from our fastest growing tourism market.

“The consortium met the criteria to have in-principle funding approved, which allows them to commence negotiations with confidence to establish direct year-round services into Cairns.”

The consortium’s project, titled Cairns – Australia’s Tropical Holiday Resort Destination, will see industry contributions matched dollar for dollar funding from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia.  

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the proposal responded to the key criteria of additional direct services, delivering innovative products and experiences, building relationships with key Asian countries, digital capability, growing awareness of the state and regional dispersal.

“This is exactly the kind of product we know will grow tourism in Far North Queensland,” she said.

“I look forward to seeing an airline and additional industry partners coming on board and the proposal developing further.

“A growing tourism industry means more money in our economy and more jobs here in Cairns and the far north.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the organisation, in conjunction with Cairns Airport and the consortium, was looking forward to establishing Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef as a resort holiday destination in China. 

“This Connecting with Asia proposal will activate the Australian tropical holiday resort proposition for the China market benefitting not only Tropical North Queensland, but Queensland and Australia by attracting new visitors,” he said.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter said he welcomed the commitment of support from the Queensland Government. 

“The airport is continuing to work with our tourism partners, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Australia and Tourism Tropical North Queensland to secure flights from mainland China into Cairns and backing from the State Government will help ensure our success,” Mr Carter said.

The $33.5 million Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia fund was a key tourism measure in the 2016-17 State Budget.