Chinese to bring new year bonanza
A RECORD number of people are expected to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Cairns, with up to 20,000 international travellers heading to the region.Direct scheduled services by China Eastern and China Southern airlines, as well as charter flights, will bring visitors for the celebrations on February 10.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Rob Giasonsaid there would be 24 flights operated by the two carriers, as well as charters from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
"Next year we have much to look forward to, starting with what promises to be our best ever Chinese New Year when we expect 18,000 to 20,000 Chinese visitors over a period of two weeks," he said.
Mr Giason said agents were negotiating charter flights for February next year.
In the meantime, he said passengernumbers on the trialChina Eastern flights, which started in late October, were positive.
"They're pleased. The load factors are very pleasing. I feel there is a growing renewed confidence," Mr Giason said.
He said work on increasing business and incentive travel from China, as well as Japan, was part of TTNQ's strategic plans for next year.
He said Scoot Airlines was the region's best chance for direct flights from Singapore, the next priority aviation target.
But Mr Giason and Cairns Airport chief executive officer Kevin Brown said Scoot was at least 18 months away after the airline reserved 20 Boeing 787 aircraft for delivery from 2014.
In other plans, Mr Giason said the marketing body was negotiating to bring more "high-level participation" events to the region during quiet periods.
He said new Tourism Events Queensland chief executive officer Steven Wright had emphasised theimportanceofa collaborative approach with government and industry groups to achieve the goal of doubling the state's tourism revenue to $30 billion by 2020.
"TTNQ and the new TEQ will work closely together to maximise our efforts in achieving our goals, including our sports tourism and business events strategies, which are critical to our ongoing path," Mr Giason said.
"Partnerships are vital in this competitive world and TTNQ has been taking this approach for some time as we seek to maximise our efforts."
Mr Giason said such examples included the total solar eclipse, the Cairns Ironman and Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, the Great Barrier Reef Masters Games and the pre-season training camp for Richmond AFL.
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