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 November 17, 2014
Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines Continue Partnership In 2015

 Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines will extend their existing strategic partnership agreement, committing a further A$4.2 million for cooperative marketing in 2015.

This extended agreement was signed today in Parliament House, Canberra by Tourism Australia Managing Director John O'Sullivan and China Southern Airlines President Mr Tan Wangeng in the presence of President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Abbott.

The agreement will jointly fund a range of tourism campaigns and promotional activities in Australia's fastest growing and most valuable inbound market, China.

Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines, together with State and Territory tourism partners, will work to build demand on existing services under the 'There's nothing like Australia' banner.

Mr Tan said that Australia is the most important strategic market for China Southern Airlines.

"In recent years, China Southern has continued to consolidate its position as the largest air carrier in the China-Australia marketplace, with ever-growing brand influence.

"We are very satisfied with what we have achieved and have full confidence in the future prospects of the China-Australia marketplace.

"We will continue to increase capacity in this market, enhance route profitability and hub support as well as in-flight and ground services, in a bid to increase the influence of our Guangzhou hub and the Canton Route throughout the Australian marketplace, thus making greater contributions to the bilateral cooperation and exchanges between China and Australia."

Mr O'Sullivan said support from China Southern Airlines for the long running, successful 'There's nothing like Australia' campaign will help deliver substantial results for Australian tourism.

"China Southern is the largest airline in China and its Guangzhou base will be very important as Australia targets the 'Tier 1' cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, plus the 'Tier 2' cities of Nanjing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing.

"The return of the A380 aircraft to the Guangzhou-Sydney route from December to February is also another vote of confidence in the market and will help meet demand for travel into Australia from China over summer.

"China Southern is the leading carrier on the China-Australia route, carrying 20 per cent of all Chinese tourists into Australia in the year ended September 2014. In the past five years, the airline has increased its capacity by more than five hundred per cent to Australia opening up direct access between China and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

"Asia continues to be a powerhouse for Australian tourism. As the leading carrier out of China, China Southern Airlines is a critical airline partner for us as we seek to drive further growth in our international arrivals," he said.

There were 789 300 visitors from China in the 12 months to 30 September 2014, an annual increase of 10.5 per cent. Figures recently released by Tourism Australia suggest that annual spending by Chinese visitors to Australia could rise to A$13 billion annually by 2020.