The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed Virgin Australia’s announcement that it is starting direct flights to Greater China from Melbourne, with the new Hong Kong service set to take off in early July.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren said securing the new service was another coup for Victoria’s booming visitor economy and reaffirms Melbourne’s position as the destination of choice for tourists from all across China.
China is Victoria’s number one tourism market for both international visitor numbers and overall expenditure, with almost 570,000 visitors spending more than $2.4 billion in 2016.
We welcome thousands of international students from China each year, with more than 68,000 Chinese students calling Victoria home last year.
Chinese visitor expenditure accounts for a third of total visitor expenditure in Victoria, and is more lucrative than the state’s next six markets combined.
Visitors from China are drawn to our world class calendar of events, brilliant wildlife and our vibrant and inclusive culture.
Last financial year, more than 34 million people passed through Melbourne Airport including 9.2 million international passengers, representing an increase of 9.5 per cent on the previous year.
These numbers are expected to grow from the additional number of seats directly to and from China thanks to this new service.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“Melbourne is the top destination for Chinese travellers, and Virgin Australia’s decision to commence its maiden Hong Kong service from here proves it.”
“We’re working to attract even more direct flights to our state – and that means more jobs, a stronger economy and more visitors to Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti
“Awarded the world’s most liveable city for the past six years, Melbourne is an international city in its own right and hosts some of Australia’s biggest and most spectacular events.”
“We look forward to showcasing this great city to inbound visitors from Hong Kong and beyond.”