Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said China Southern Airlines plans to have 110 services to Australia in the next five years and the youth and backpacker industry is well positioned to benefit from the growth.
He added: “These guys are developing into genuine independent travellers way faster than I have seen in any market. There’s a lot of youth backpacker types in China who would love to come and do their stuff in Australia. It’s an interesting one we should have a really good look at.”
Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler agreed. He said: “There isn’t a history of independent travel, the Chinese couldn’t even travel in China let alone overseas until quite recently. I don’t think there’s a more exciting travel market, inbound or outbound, in the world today.”