THE Gold Coast is set to provide direct flights to China, providing seats for up to 35,000 additional travellers a year.
The Labor government today signed an agreement with Jetstar Airways and Hubei Wanda New Airline International Travel Services Co. Ltd to secure the new direct flights between China and the Gold Coast.
The deal, which was a collaborative effort by Jetstar, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport and Tourism and Events Queensland, means Jetstar will operate two flights a week between Wuhan and the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Tourism Chairman Paul Donovan describes the deal as a "landmark outcome".
"Tourism from China to the Gold Coast now totals 186,000 visitors per year, making China one of the Gold Coast's largest international tourism markets," says Donovan.
"China is Queensland's largest international market by visitor expenditure, with visitors spending $591 million in the year to September 2014."
Palaszczuk says the new route represents an important aviation milestone for Queensland.
"Over two years the Wuhan-Gold Coast service has the potential to generate $53 million in visitor expenditure to the local economy, in turn supporting jobs and small business," she says.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says Chinese travellers loved the Gold Coast, with 60 per cent of all Chinese visitors to Queensland including the Gold Coast on their visit.
"Today's announcement is the culmination of a concerted campaign which will inject millions into the local economy and help create more local jobs," says Tate.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall says the new flights open up an important tourism market for South East Queensland.
"It's a credit to the Queensland Government, Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast Tourism as well as Gold Coast Airport that they've been able to attract the Dalian Wanda Group's investment to this vibrant region," says Hall.
"We're really pleased to contribute to this unique partnership and it's a great opportunity for us to build our presence in the Chinese market with the establishment of a direct service from Australia."
The Wuhan to Gold Coast Jetstar service will commence 29 September 2015.
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