The holiday season is continuing at Gold Coast Airport, with Chinese visitors descending on the Coast during the Chinese New Year period.
More than 1,000 Chinese tourists a day visit the Gold Coast, or more than 300,000 a year, with China being 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.
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said another busy Chinese New Year period was anticipated and the team was already welcoming an increased number of passengers from across Asia.
“The Chinese visitor market is extremely important for us on the Gold Coast,” Ms Charlton said.
“Based on Austrade’s latest International Visitor Survey (September 2018), the Gold Coast remains the third most popular city in Australia for Chinese visitors, following Sydney and Melbourne.
“Chinese New Year will be marked on February 5 this year, followed by a week of public holidays, making it the most convenient time for Chinese tourists to visit Australia, and we traditionally see many of those tourists visit the Gold Coast.”
Ms Charlton said the Gold Coast Airport team had long been focussed on the Chinese market, supporting existing Chinese passengers and growing the market into the future.
“Gold Coast Airport ensures our Chinese passengers are met at the gate by one of our Chinese Liaison Officers – in fact, we were the first airport in Australia to employ Chinese Liaison Officers back in 2010,” she said.
“We ensure our frontline staff and retailers in the terminal receive customer service training so they are well equipped to meet and greet our Chinese travellers, while our Airport Ambassadors are also equipped with an iPad to help with communication. We also offer free wi-fi with a Chinese login page.”
The outlook for Chinese tourism remains strong, with latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing short-term visitor arrivals to Australia from China increased by 1.9 per cent in November 2018.
In December, Gold Coast Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ctrip –the leading travel services company in China – to open its first Australian store inside the terminal. The store is expected to open in coming months and will offer personal travel services to Chinese travellers.
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 16.6 million in 2037.