SYDNEY, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tourism officials and industry representatives gathered in Sydney's Darling Harbor on Tuesday evening to further promote Australians' understanding of travel opportunities in China and encourage them to "visit China where culture shines."
"To better serve tourists both at home and abroad, we're taking a series of measures to increase the supply of tourists products and improve the tourist experience," said Li Yaying, deputy director of Department of International Exchange and Cooperation under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.
In addition to the brand new Beijing Daxing International Airport which opens in September, Australians can now take advantage of a 72-144 hour visa free policy in 20 port cities of China.
Critically, China is also taking the measure of further integrating culture into the tourist experience, something which Australian travellers relish.
Amanda Bruno from Wendy Wu Tours, a leading tourism operator throughout China, told Xinhua that as well as icons such as the Great Wall and Terracotta Warriors, Australians want to immerse themselves in the hidden cultural wonders of China as well.
"We're noticing a lot of areas such as the Yangtze River, Nine Villages Valley or the Wulong National Geological Park ... people wanting to immerse themselves a lot more into the local life or traditional way of life," Bruno said.
"I think for Australians, sometimes we want something a little bit more active, a little bit more adventurous and things like that are just perfect -- they can come home and say that they've done something that's unique to anyone else."
International Operations & Aviation Development Manager at Tourism Australia, Trent Banfield said that two-way tourism between China and Australia has strengthened significantly over the past 20 years.
"In 2017 we had the China-Australia year of tourism which provided a strong platform to celebrate the cultural ties between the two nations," Banfield said.
China is now the fifth most popular overseas destinations for Australians, with over 611,000 people making the trip in the past year.
"Looking at China as it was maybe 10 years ago compared to how many visitors we're getting now is completely different, much more," Bruno said.
"It's really great to see because we know just how great of a country it is, so it's great to be able to share that with the Australian traveling public as well."