Gold Coast Airport (GCA) is set to welcome an influx of China-based visitors as celebrations get underway for Chinese New Year.
Meeting growing demand from outbound travellers, Hong Kong Airlines has increased its Hong Kong to Gold Coast service from three to up to seven flights per week in January and February.
Visitors will be given a warm Australian welcome on arrival to the Gold Coast, with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Blinky Bill visiting the terminal intermittently between January 30 and February 3.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the airport would also have increased presence from its Chinese Liaison Officers in the week after the lunar calendar ticks over on January 28.
“Our Chinese Liaison Officers are here to assist passengers as they move through the airport to ensure their travel experience with us is a positive one,” he said.
“This is a very popular time for the Chinese to travel and clearly they are keen to holiday here on the Gold Coast.”
In a nod to Chinese New Year celebrations, the terminal and some retailers will also feature festive dressing.
Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter said China was a major market for the City and Chinese visitors to the destination grew by a record 33 per cent last financial year (295,000 in the 12 months to September 2016).
“Chinese visitors appreciate the Gold Coast’s beautiful natural environment, its blue skies, fantastic restaurants, shopping and our incredible wildlife,” Mr Winter said.
“We will continue to work with the airlines and key stakeholders to grow this valuable market for our tourism industry.”
The Hong Kong to Gold Coast service became a permanent, year-round service in April 2016 following the success of a seasonal charter service.
It connects the Gold Coast with Chinese growth markets including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Nanning.