The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) congratulates Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development Warren Truss and Trade & Investment Minister Andrew Robb on today's announcement of a new air deal with China.
The new arrangements allow Australian and Chinese airlines to immediately increase capacity by 18% to 26,500 seats each way per week between Australia's major gateway cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth) and Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Both sides can also operate a further 26,500 seats each way per week between all other cities in China and Australia's major gateways. By October 2016, this will expand to a total of 67,000 weekly seats.
Airlines will continue to be allowed to offer unlimited services between China and regional Australian convention destinations including Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast and Cairns.
AACB President, Lyn Lewis-Smith stated that, "This announcement builds on other Government initiatives improving Australia's access to Chinese delegates such as the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, multiple-entry three year business visitor visas and trial of electronic visa lodgement for Chinese visitors. It also compliments the 'Attracting Business Events to Australia: Role of Government Agencies' framework, announced by Minister Robb in November 2014."
According to the 2020 Business Events Sector Quarterly Progress Report, year ending September 2014, the Chinese market represented 61,000 business events delegates to Australia with a spend of $238 million. The Chinese market is currently ranked fourth in delegate spend behind the traditional markets of the United States of America, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
AACB Executive Director, Andrew Hiebl said, "Aviation capacity out of China has been challenging for Australian convention bureaux. This announcement helps our efforts in attracting large groups from this high-yield growth market."
Deloitte Access Economics (2014) suggests that delivering more growth from Asia requires deepening our economic understanding and strengthening our economic ties.
"International business events are a proven mechanism for building professional networks and promoting cultural exchange. Opening up access to Chinese delegates further encourages trade, investment and research collaboration opportunities between the two countries," Hiebl added.
Increasing Chinese air rights is also integral to achieving Australia's Tourism 2020 targets. Overnight spend by business event delegates in Australia is currently worth $13 billion (Tourism Research Australia, 2014), with a target of $16 billion by 2020.
Many of Australia's convention bureaux will target the Asian market in partnership with Tourism Australia at IT&CM China and Business Events Australia's North Asia and South East Asia Showcases across April and May.
The peak business events network driving economic prosperity for Australia.