News for Asia

WA Government & Tourism WA welcome China Southern increased Perth-China frequency

12 July, 2017

Western Australia Government, via Tourism WA, welcomed (12-Jul-2017) China Southern Airlines' announcement to increase Guangzhou-Perth frequency to five times weekly from 29-Oct-2017. China Southern currently operates four times weekly on the route, which is the only nonstop route between Perth and China. WA Government Acting Premier Roger Cook stated: "China is a vital tourism market for WA with Chinese visitors spending AUD271 million (USD208 million) in the year ending Mar-2017, an increase of 13% on the previous year, making it our second biggest market in that regard. To attract more Chinese visitors and boost visitor spend, increasing aviation access to the State is the key". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Philippines Tourism Department to promote destinations other than Manila in Australian market

12 July, 2017

Philippines' Department of Tourism route development group head Erwin F Balane, speaking on CAPA TV, said (Jun-2017) the Department will promote destinations other than Manila in the Australian market with the aim to convince airlines to commence services to new cities. Australia is the Philippines' fifth largest market for arrivals. [more - CAPA TV]

China Southern Airlines to launch Guangzhou-Cairns service

11 July, 2017

China Southern Airlines plans to launch three times weekly Guangzhou-Cairns service on 13-Dec-2017, operating with A330-200 aircraft, as per a 10-Jul-2017 GDS inventory and timetable display. 

Virgin Group founder: Chinese arrivals into Australia growing at 18% p/a

7 July, 2017

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson stated the number of Chinese tourists arriving into Australia is growing at 18% p/a (CNBC, 06-Jul-2017). Sir Richard added as Australia's "number two airline", it would be a mistake not to expand into China.

Virgin Australia CEO: Hong Kong is the 'spearhead of our Asian expansion' into mainland China

7 July, 2017

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti stated the new Hong Kong service is the "spearhead of our Asian expansion", "the greater China is the future for us" (CNBC, 06-Jul-2017). Mr Borghetti said the carrier aims to raise frequency between Melbourne and Hong Kong to daily "as quickly as possible…before expanding into" other destinations in Australia such as Brisbane and Sydney.

Australia seeks more liberalised air services agreement from Hong Kong

7 July, 2017

Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo urged Hong Kong to secure a "more liberalised" air services agreement with Australia, stating that an agreement could be reached within current free trade negotiations (South China Morning Post, 06-Jul-2017). Mr Ciobo said: "Hong Kong has a tremendous amount going for it, but one area I think Hong Kong could do better in, to be honest, is in air services agreements".

Flight Centre Travel Group acquires Olympus Tours and Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia

7 July, 2017

Flight Centre Travel Group secured (07-Jul-2017) two separate deals to acquire Olympus Tours, a Mexico based destination management company and Bespoke Hospitality Management Asia, a Thailand based regional operator of design and lifestyle leisure hotels. Flight Centre Travel Group MD Graham Turner stated: "Expanding our in-destination network is a key global strategy and we are starting to develop strong foundations in this sector through our tour operators, destination management companies and hotel management businesses". [more - original PR]

Velocity Frequent Flyer and Fortune Wings Club announce reciprocal agreement

6 July, 2017

Virgin Australia announced (06-Jul-2017) a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement between Velocity Frequent Flyer, and Hainan Group's (HNA) Fortune Wings Club. The agreement allows members to earn and redeem points and be recognised across the airlines' flight networks. As part of the first phase of this agreement Velocity members will be able to earn Velocity Points and Status Credits on selected services operated by four Fortune Wings Club participating airlines including, Hong Kong Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines. The announcement follows Virgin Australia’s inaugural Melbourne-Hong Kong service which launched on 05-Jul-2017. Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Karl Schuster stated: "The announcement is an exciting expansion of our current Velocity Frequent Flyer network and we’re delighted to provide more than eight million Velocity members with even more reasons to travel with us and our partner airlines". Hainan Airlines president Jianfeng Sun stated: "Virgin Australia is an important strategic partner of HNA group. Fortune Wings Club and Velocity have begun a cooperative effort in their frequent flyer programmes, which will not only expand points earning but the upcoming redemption channels and reciprocal elite members’ benefits will also create a perfect flight experience for members". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

NSW announced as the number one destination for Aboriginal tourism

5 July, 2017

Destination NSW announced (05-Jul-2017) NSW overtook Queensland as the most popular State in Australia for international travellers to experience Aboriginal tourism, with the sector growing by 62% in visitor participation in the year ending Mar-2017. NSW's Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall stated the NSW Aboriginal tourism sector attracted visitors from around the world, including travellers from China, the US and UK. More than 332,000 international travellers to NSW took part in an Aboriginal cultural experience in the year ending Mar-2017. These visitors spent an estimated AUD1.3 billion (USD1 billion) during their visit. [more - original PR]

Virgin Australia confirms further expansion into Hong Kong and China

5 July, 2017

Virgin Australia confirmed the new Melbourne-Hong Kong route was just the start of the carrier's expansion into the region (Sydney Morning Herald, 06-Jul-2017). Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson advised the carrier had applied for 21 new slots at Hong Kong Airport, which would cover departures to Sydney and Brisbane.

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