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Australia's Trade Minister to embark on tourism mission to China

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-20 10:44

CANBERRA - Australia's Trade Minister will this week lead a delegation of Australian tourism executives on a visit to Beijing and Shanghai to launch the China-Australia Year of Tourism.

Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo said the week-long visit would also help Aussie business leaders "advance" the burgeoning trade and tourism relationship between the two nations.

"I will visit Beijing and Shanghai this week to advance the Australia China trade relationship," Ciobo said in a statement released on Monday.

"A delegation of chief executives from the Australian tourism sector will join me. We will meet with senior Chinese business executives and government representatives to build on our already strong tourism links and discuss opportunities for greater two-way investment."

Ciobo said one of the primary aims of the visit would be to fast-track the implementation of the "open aviation market air services" agreement signed by the two governments in December last year.

"The delegation, including the chief executives of seven Australian airports, will explore opportunities arising from the landmark agreement," Ciobo said.

"The arrangement removes all capacity restrictions between Australia and China for airlines of both countries and allows airlines of Australia and China to offer unlimited flights to and from any points in Australia and China, including international airports in regional Australia.

"This is the first time China has signed such an agreement with any country."

The minister said the agreement should also result in strong flow-on effects for Australia's growing tourism industry.

"China is Australia's most valuable tourism export market, with the potential to be worth more than 13 billion Australian dollars ($10 billion) by 2020," Ciobo's statement said.

"Capitalizing on this historic agreement will drive more Chinese tourists to Australia. The more tourists we can get to Australia, the more jobs will be created."

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