Australia’s tropical north could be in line for a significant tourism boost, following the announcement that China Southern Airlines will operate direct flights from Guangzhou to Cairns.
Xinhua reported the airline as saying on Monday that it would launch three weekly flights to the Queensland city “before the end of 2017”.
And Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she expects the new flights to bring significant gains to the region’s tourism sector.
“In the first year we expect these flights to bring more than 33,000 Chinese visitors to tropical north Queensland, which in turn flows on to the local economy and supports jobs across the region,” Ms Palaszczuk was quoted saying.
“In fact the tens of thousands of new Chinese tourists coming into Cairns are forecast to be worth more than 30 million dollars in overnight visitor expenditure in our region in the first year alone.”
Asia’s biggest airline in terms of passenger traffic, China Southern has previously operated seasonal flights to Cairns, alongside with its year-round services to Brisbane. Cairns also has direct links to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines.