NSW’s largest contingent of tourism business operators left for China today on a five-day mission to showcase NSW as a preferred tourist destination.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said a record 26 NSW tourism operators will travel to the southern Chinese city of Sanya, Hainan Province, until 3 March to meet with key travel trade representatives as part of efforts to build on the growing Chinese tourism market.

Destination NSW (DNSW) will support the delegation, which includes a diverse mix of attractions, hotels, transport and tour operators and regional tourism organisations from across NSW.

"The five-day mission, jointly hosted with Tourism Queensland, is an opportunity for NSW suppliers and destination promoters to showcase their products create new business relationships and strengthen existing links,” Mr Souris said.

"This mission enables NSW suppliers to meet with more than 50 key tourism operators and media representatives from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, giving them the opportunity to present the destination, products and experiences they represent and also allows them to establish relationships and business opportunities.

"China is currently NSW’s third largest source of visitors and is growing steadily. In the past year, Chinese tourists have injected more than $1.2 billion into the NSW economy.

"The trade delegation is part of our aggressive strategy to build strong links in China to grow and sustain inbound tourism.

"I wish the delegation success and take great interest in their briefing upon return. "

Recent ABS data showed that visitor numbers to NSW from China continued to grow steadily, with almost half of the 542,000 arrivals from China in 2011 spending the majority of their trip in NSW.

"China is a massive growth tourism market, with an increase of about 23 per cent expected over the next year, with Chinese visitor arrivals to Australia expected to reach close to one million by 2020.

"The NSW Government, through DNSW, is working hard to capitalise on that growing source market and maintain NSW as the leading destination for Chinese visitors,” Mr Souris said.

DNSW has provided funding support for the following 26 businesses to attend the mission: 

1. Australian Attractions Blue Mountains Group (Scenic World & Koomarri)
2. Australian Reptile Park
3. BridgeClimb
4. Byron Bay and Beyond
5. Central Coast Tourism (Central Coast Tourism, Glenworth Valley, Tobruk Sheep Station)
6. Dolphin Watch Cruises
7. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
8. Hunter Resort
9. Merlin Entertainments Group
10. Metro Hotels
11. Moonshadow Charters
12. Newcastle Airport Limited
13. Oaks Hotels and Resorts
14. Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney
15. Red Carpet Tours
16. Australian Cruise Group (Sydney Showboat)
17. Taronga Zoo
18. The Grace Hotel
19. The Star
20. Toga Hospitality
21. Tourism Wollongong
22. Trippas White Group
23. Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
24. YHA Australia Inc.
25. Port Stephens Tourism
26. Shangri-la Hotel


SOURCE: www.etravelblackboard.com


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