SYDNEY, May 8 (Xinhua) -- One of Australia's government tourism agencies, Destination New South Wales (NSW), launched a new campaign Monday that will see Chinese tourists brought to rural communities in parts of the state.
The move is part of a partnership with a travel agency in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Over 1.2 million Chinese tourists made their way to Australia last year, with that figure set to increase exponentially over the next decade, and this program aims to take the incoming visitors off the regular beaten track, and bring them to two of Australia's most picturesque towns, Dubbo and Mudgee.
Minister for Tourism in NSW Adam Marshall said in a statement to Xinhua that this is the first time a campaign has partnered with an overseas agency to bring tourists directly to these rural local hubs.
"The aim of this campaign is to encourage travellers to explore rural and regional areas of our state by extending their trip beyond the fringes of Sydney," Marshall said.
"This campaign is expected to initially deliver around 500 tourists to different towns across rural and regional NSW, who will inject almost 1 million Australian dollars (739,700 U.S. dollars) into those local economies."
Troy Grant, a NSW minister who is the local representative from Dubbo lauded the move, saying that the tourists from China will relish the "beautiful landscapes, delicious produce, and attractions," including the zoo, that the area has to offer.
"The positive flow-on effects of this campaign will be felt with more overnight stays and more tourist dollars ending up in the pockets of local businesspeople," Grant said.
The Year of Tourism between China and Australia 2017 is crucial from a trade, geopolitical, and tourism perspective, according to Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan, who told Xinhua earlier in the year that one of the other key benefits, is shared culture.
"This partnership is about the understanding of countries, and the understanding of cultures, and in both countries, tourism is a big business," O'Sullivan said.
Mudgee, named by the original Australian Indigenous people, translates to "nest in the hills" and is known worldwide as a top red wine producing region with many wineries to explore. Dubbo is home to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, which houses over 700 animals who are able to roam its 300 hectares of land.
As part of the campaign, China's tourists to Australia will visit the zoo in Dubbo, travel the next day for winery tours in Mudgee, and then travel back to Sydney, via the Blue Mountains region.