The long awaited direct aviation link between Cairns and mainland China is now a reality.
China Southern Airlines today announced that from December this year they will operate three services per week between Guangzhou and Cairns.
Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer, Norris Carter, said this was great news for Cairns to receive during the 2017 China Australia Year of Tourism.
“We look forward to rolling out the red carpet for China Southern’s first flight in December,” Mr Carter said.
“These flights from Guangzhou will provide more convenient access to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef for the world’s largest visitor source market. In addition it opens up the ‘Canton Route’ for travellers to connect from Europe through Cairns. It will give our local residents another option for travelling to China that doesn’t involve flying south to head north. The service will also open up new opportunities for our region’s high quality primary produce to be exported to China, tapping into this enormous market through the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.”
The latest International Visitors Survey for the 12 months ending March 2017, showed that China continues to be the largest international visitor source market for Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, at 218,000 visitors.
“The Great Barrier Reef is at the top, by far, of the must-do travel aspiration list for Chinese people. The China Southern service will give thousands more opportunities for Chinese visitors to fly direct to our destination and experience their number one-must do travel aspiration – the Great Barrier Reef and everything else on offer here.”
“Whether as a standalone visit or as part of a longer Queensland and Australian itinerary that takes advantage of Cairns Airport’s extensive domestic connections, visitors will be able to spend more of their time enjoying their holiday rather than travelling.”
“We thank China Southern for creating this opportunity to grow our region’s tourism and exports.”
“We welcome the Queensland Government’s support through its Connecting with Asia fund. We’ve have been working closely with them for some time, along with Cairns Regional Council, Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism Australia, to attract China Southern to Cairns.”
“With their flights set to commence in December, it’s time now to ensure we are all ‘China-ready’ so that we can take full advantage of the potential $44.2M this new three times per week service can contribute to our regional economy and the 286 jobs it can create.