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Chinese tourist numbers set to increase

Chinese tourist numbers set to increase

China Southern Airlines has recently announced that it will sponsor the world-famous Sydney Festival for the next three years.

Executive vice president of parent corporation China Southern Air Holding Company Tan Wan'geng made the announcement shortly after his arrival in the capital city.

Tan asserted: "China Southern's $600,000 sponsorship of Sydney Festival 2012 was the airline's largest single marketing initiative in the Australian market, and came about because the airline saw Australia not just as a very important source of travellers to China but also to the rest of the world on its global network."

Receiving the generous contributions of the CEO, NSW premier Barry O'Farrell welcomed the company as the Official Airline and Leadership Partner for the 2012 Festival - the first ever international sponsor - and said he was "delighted" at such a strong commitment.

O'Farrell stated: "The announcement to continue the sponsorship recognises the positive outcomes and future potential of this partnership with one of the Asia Pacific region's key cultural events, and Australia largest performing arts festival."

It has been widely noted that the combination of a stable economic and social environment in the country is producing more international interest in the island continent - with more temporary migration visas being issued as both tourism and employment prospects are explored.

This recent sponsorship deal could be set to drive up both of these sectors, with Tan indicating that his company expected to handle a large increase in south-bound customers and would be increasing the number of flights between China and Australia by 20 per week before 2015.

"By 2015, China Southern will carry an estimated 1.2 million passengers between Australia and China, around half of them Chinese travellers coming to Australia for pleasure or business," said Tan.

"This will amount to a travel bonanza for Australia and Australians."

For local hospitality and tourism industries struggling in the face of a high Australian dollar and reduced financial capacity of many visitors, the news of a potential increase could serve as a catalyst to prepare for more international visitors.

Larger firms that conduct guided national tours will need to make sure that they have the capacity for an increase in immigration visas - as many companies provide this feature as part of their tour services.

On the other hand, businesses may need to begin hiring on extra staff to meet increased levels of demand - meaning they need qualified advice on the rights and responsibilities of employers when managing non-citizens.

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