Past Media Releases

Queensland soars in the New Year with new Hong Kong flights

09 January 2016

Australia’s first Hong Kong Airlines flight HX015 touched down on the Gold Coast today strengthening the state’s growing aviation connections with the booming Chinese tourist market.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said the new service would bring up to 5,000 additional Chinese travellers to Queensland each year and generate more than $10 million for the Queensland economy.

“Hong Kong Airlines will operate this seasonal service with three flights a week between Hong Kong and the Gold Coast with connection through to Cairns,” Ms Jones said.

“The Palaszczuk Government secured this flight through our Attracting Aviation and Investment Fund (AAIF).

“Our $10 million AAIF investment is helping growing Queensland tourism, attract new routes and boost international travel to Queensland.”

Ms Jones said CITS Group Shanghai Co Ltd, which leads a consortium of five Chinese travel agents, was actively promoting the new route and destination offerings in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland, Gold Coast Tourism and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

"I thank our local and international industry partners for their commitment to growing tourism in Queensland – including the work undertaken by Gold Coast Airport and Gold Coast Tourism to achieve this outcome.”

Ms Jones said the latest tourism figures from the International Visitor Survey (IVS) showed the benefit of building Queensland’s aviation portfolio, particularly from close neighbours China.

“China is Queensland’s largest tourism market by visitor expenditure with 474,000 visitors from Greater China in the year to September 2015 injecting more than $1.1 billion into the State’s economy,” she said.

“The Gold Coast tops Chinese travellers’ list as the most popular destination in the state, welcoming 213,000 visitors while 165,000 visited Tropical North Queensland.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal welcomed the seasonal service to Cairns.

“Tropical North Queensland is expecting more than 35,000 Chinese visitors between January and April arriving on 129 seasonal flights from China and Hong Kong as well as additional domestic flights into Cairns,” he said.

“This is more than double the number of flights we had last year for the Chinese New Year period and will give the region a great kick start to an anticipated busy 2016.”