SYDNEY, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cairns in Australia's tropical north has secured a deal with China's Hainan Airlines on Friday for direct flights from southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, that is expected to bring 64 million Australian dollars (50.79 million U.S. dollars) to the local economy.
Backed by the Queensland Government's 10-million-Australian dollar (7.94-million-U.S. dollar) Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, both groups plan to capitalise on the State's "most valuable" and "fastest growing" international visitor market.
"We know that Chinese travellers are extremely valuable to the Queensland economy, injecting one billion Australian dollars (0.79 billion U.S. dollars) over the past year," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
"This latest agreement ensures that Cairns is well placed to continue attracting large numbers of Chinese visitors."
State minister for tourism Kate Jones said in a statement that she expected the deal to bring over 30,000 new visitors to Cairns over the next two years.
This will provide "a significant boost for the local tourism industry, as well as other flow-on benefits for the local economy, supporting almost 500 jobs across the region."
"Agreements like this also mean that we are one step closer to reaching our goal of making Queensland the Australian destination of choice for Chinese travellers," Jones added.
Up until now, Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter said that most international visitors to Cairns arrive and depart on domestic flights, making it more difficult for travellers to visit the region's famous attractions.
"With more direct international flights making it faster and easier to get to Cairns, we expect to welcome even more visitors to experience the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforests and the many other attractions on offer here," Carter said.