China Eastern Airlines deal a major boost to Queensland tourism
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) said the China Eastern Airlines deal will see tourists spending money in the local economy and in small businesses right across the state.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said China would be our leading tourism market soon and praised the State Government and Small Business Minister Kate Jones for securing the memorandum of understanding.
“Tourism is the next boom after mining and small businesses are in a position to capitalise,” he said.
“Queensland will have a major advantage due to the new agreement and our proximity to Asia. Queensland can set itself up to be the gateway to Australia.
“Jobs will be created in the service industry (tourism already has a massive skills shortage – more than 120,000 employees needed by the end of the decade, 60,000 of which are skilled workers).
“With the tourism sector facing significant challenges in the near future due to increased competition from other destinations, a relatively high Australian dollar, natural disasters and increasing regulatory and business costs, announcements such as these present the government with an opportunity to cultivate Queensland’s future tourism direction.
“The health of Queensland’s tourism sector remains front and centre for many small businesses.
“It is no secret that tourism plays a key role in the state’s economy – employing more than 10 per cent of the state’s workforce and contributing $23 billion annually to the state’s economy.”
Mr Behrens said tourism was one of the most important industries in Queensland and significantly more dollars were needed to highlight the world-class offering of our small business tourism operators.
“Boosts to the industry such as secured flight deals will allow tourism-related businesses to focus on providing diverse iconic experiences that showcase our lifestyle, our natural wonders, our climate and perhaps most importantly our community and culture,” he said.
“It also demonstrates a greater trend towards increasing global connectivity and prepares businesses to consider the global marketplace as a source of growth.”
He said it was crucial that small businesses were “China-ready”, particularly on the digital and innovation front.