Aussie state govt announces partnership with Chinese travel agency

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-27 13:57

MELBOURNE — Australia's Victorian state government on Thursday announced a major partnership with Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency.

During an official visit to China, Victoria's Tourism and Major Events Minister John Eren signed off on the partnership with Ctrip that will see the company market Victoria as a tourist destination to its user base of 250 million people.

More than 570,000 Chinese people visited Victoria in the 12 months to March 2017, contributing $2.08 billion to the state's economy.

A quarter of all international visitors to Victoria in 2016 came from China.

"We're working hard to win an even larger share of the China market because we know that more visitors means more jobs and a stronger Victoria," Eren said in a media release on Thursday.

"This new deal with China's biggest online travel agency gives us an incredible opportunity to speak to millions more people and show them what they can enjoy by coming to Victoria."

A 2016 report found that the Queen Victoria Market, Great Ocean Road and Peninsula Hot Springs were the most popular destinations in Victoria for Chinese visitors.

During the official visit, Eren will open the first Visit Victoria office in Beijing on Friday.

He said that establishing a presence in China's capital would "allow us to work even closer to promote all things Victorian."

Tourism Australia is the only other official Australian tourism body with an office in Beijing.

Eren, who is also Victoria's sport minister, will also hold discussions with major sport groups while on the trip.

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