China-Australia 2017 Year of Tourism
Wendy Wu Tours hosted an exclusive dinner at the Hilton this week to facilitate an exchange of ideas with the visiting Shaanxi Tourism Administration delegation. The group were in Sydney to attend the Australian CNTO event held last Sunday to launch 2017 ‘The Year China-Australia Tourism’.
The function focussed on tourism links between Australia and the popular city of Xian. Wendy Wu Tours Director, Alan Alcock, said the meeting between key Chinese and Australian stakeholders was a fantastic opportunity to build on relationships between the regional tourism bodies and collaborate to increase Australian tourist numbers.
“We highly value this chance to exchange ideas with Shaanxi Tourism as Xian, the home of the renowned Terracotta Warriors, is one of our most popular destinations in China. Xian is not only home to the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, also but many other emerging attractions such as the Huaqing Hot Springs, drama productions at the Tang Dynasty Opera House and recreational snow activities.”
During the dinner, Shaanxi Tourism Director, Mr Yang Zhongwu, told guests that 115,000 tourists from Australia visited Xian in 2016, an increase of 18% from the previous year. He added that although they have planned for a 10% increase in 2017, visitor numbers are set to exceed this figure.
Mr Zhongwu said, “This prediction is based on activities being put in play to promote 2017 as the Year of Tourism between China and Australia.”
“These plans, combined with the now-available direct flights between Sydney and Melbourne and Xian through Hainan Airlines, as well as a comprehensive advertising campaign running in Australia, should see exponential growth of Australian visitors to Xian.”
He added that Australian visitors now rank as the seventh highest number of tourists to Xian with the likelihood they could rise to fourth or fifth in the future with the introduction of new policies such as a 72-hour visa free stay in Xian and a refund of tax on purchased goods for tourists.