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Whitsundays to host major Greater China travel event

By Mark Beale

More than 200 leading travel agents from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – all ‘Aussie Specialists’ with experience in selling Australian Holidays – will visit the Whitsundays next year as part of Tourism Australia’s annual Corroboree Greater China event.

The event will be hosted on Hamilton Island from May 12 – 15, 2015, and will involve a three day workshop, followed by a day exploring the Great Barrier Reef and tourist attractions of the Whitsundays.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said the majority of international travel out of China was still booked through travel agencies and that the event was therefore a key part of a strategy to attract more independent, higher spending Asian visitors.

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the inaugural Corroboree Greater China, staged on the Gold Coast in 2014, was a proven success, offering Queensland tourism operators a fantastic opportunity to meet with ‘Aussie Specialist’ travel agents from one of Queensland’s most important international markets.

“China is Queensland’s largest international market by visitor expenditure, with travellers spending $583 million in the state last financial year – a seven percent increase on the year prior,” she said.

“Corroboree Greater China will assist in our goal to grow overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by developing a productive link between Queensland’s tourism businesses and the Chinese distribution network.”

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said the event would support the local economy and help grow the profile of the region.

“This is a fantastic opporunity to showcase the Whitsundays and forge long-term relationships,” he said.

The 2015 Corroboree Greater China event is being organised by Tourism Australia, Hamilton Island and Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL), with support from the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).

It represents one of the largest annual international trade events staged in Australia and, all up, will see more than 400 people attending, including Greater China’s top travel agents, Australian tourism opoerators and media.

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