Gold Coast Airport and Ctrip have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see Ctrip open its first Australian store at the Gold Coast Airport terminal early next year.
Th leading Chinese travel services company, which employs more than 30,000 people,is the dominant player in the Chinese travel market – with 71 per cent of Chinese travellers booking flights, accommodation and tours through Ctrip.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills welcomed the deal, saying having Ctrip at Gold Coast Airport, the largest of the company’s four ports, would enhance the offering for Chinese visitors holidaying here.
“There is no better location for China’s leading travel services company Ctrip to open its first Australian store than at the gateway to the country’s premier tourist destination,” he said.
“Having Ctrip based at Gold Coast Airport is likely to prompt Chinese visitors to plan more activities during their stay, further increasing the spending of this already lucrative segment of the visitor market.”
Mr Mills said the China market was a key focus for Gold Coast Airport and the Ctrip concept store would build on that broader strategy.
“We have a Chinese business development manager and three Chinese Liaison Officers employed to welcome and farewell Chinese visitors at the airport,” he said.
“We expect this partnership to deliver significant exposure in the Chinese market and further strengthen the Gold Coast, Queensland and Gold Coast Airport brands in what is the largest inbound market for the region.”
The agreement was supported by the Queensland Government and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said tapping into the huge potential for growth in the Chinese tourism market was an important part of the government’s strategy to grow the tourism sector on the Gold Coast.
“Securing more direct flights into Gold Coast Airport is crucial to growing the Coast’s tourism industry,” she said.
“This agreement is a great achievement for the city. It will help to ensure the Gold Coast is front of mind for millions of Chinese tourists researching their next overseas holiday.”
More than 1000 Chinese tourists a day visit the Gold Coast, or more than 300,000 a year. China is the number one international visitor market for Australia and Queensland, both in terms of the number of visitors and spending per visitor.About $360 million is pumped into the Gold Coast economy by Chinese visitors each year.
Ctrip Destination Marketing CEO Jenna Qian said opening the first Ctrip concept store in Australia was an important step for the company.
“The Gold Coast is one of the popular destinations for Chinese tourists in Australia. It is expected that, after the completion of Ctrip concept store in Gold Coast Airport, Ctrip and Trip.com will better serve Chinese and overseas travellers and solve their travel needs, as well as promote the tourism in Gold Coast," Ms Qian said.
Ctrip will be located next door to the Destination Gold Cost booth and be centrally located between baggage claim and security screening.
A record 6.6 million passengers travelled through Gold Coast Airport last financial year, which was an increase of 1.7 per cent on the year before. The airport facilitates more than 420 flights per week, including direct links to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. The Gold Coast Airport Master Plan anticipates a jump in passengers to 16 million in 2037.