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Panda And Koala Come Together In 2017 For The Chinese-Australia Year Of Tourism


The China-Australia Year of Tourism?


On 20th December last year, 2017 was officially declared the China-Australia Year of Tourism (CAYOT).



  • In the CAYOT Logo, a panda and koala smile and dance hand in hand, which symbolizes China and Australia are important strategic partners, and tourism of both countries will exchange and cooperate continuously to achieve win-win development
  • “There couldn’t have been a greater contrast in the relations between China and the US and China and Australia this week. While President-elect Donald Trump is set to spend 2017 and beyond poking the dozy Chinese panda with a noticeably large and sharp stick, Australia is, officially, planning to spend the next 12 months stroking it.”, writes Anthony Dennis from Traveller.



So why is 2017 heralded as the China-Australia Year of Tourism?

Over the many decades of partnership that China and Australia have enjoyed, why now? Yang Zhi, minister counsellor of Embassy of PR China, addresses this during the Press Conference of “China-Australia Year of Tourism 2017”, back in December 2016 at Sydney SMC Conference and Function Centre.


  • Yang Zhi states that China has been the world’s second largest economy and Australia’s number 1 trading partner.
  • With the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014 and the implementation of the China-Australia free trade agreement in 2015, the two countries have developed and maintained strong cooperation in trade, business, education, culture, investment, science and technology.
  • The year of 2017 is the 45th anniversary of China- Australia diplomatic ties. As two important countries in the Asia-Pacific, it will offer an important opportunity for both countries to carry out more cultural exchanges. Mr Yang said that he is confident that the launching of the CAYOT on this year will boost tourism cooperation.
  • From July 2015 to June 2016, Australia received 1.06 million Chinese visitors with a 23% growth, and the expenditure of Chinese visitors is totalled $8.9 Billion,  up 27%.


Acknowledgment of the China-Australia Year of Tourism?

This year, on the 5th of February, Sydneysiders should be prepared for the opening ceremony of CAYOT in the Sydney Opera House. This gala event, hosted by the CNTA, will be celebrated by officials from both the Chinese and Australian  governments.


  • Will be highlighted by a world-class Chinese concert, The Treasure of a Nation.
  • The concert promises to take guests on a fascinating musical journey, exploring the vast country and immersing them in the naturally splendid and majestically historic Beautiful China
  • Mr Luo said that China National Tourist Office in Sydney will organize a series of featured events in 2017, including floating Panda and Koala on Darling Harbour, China Travel Specialists Online Training Programs,Panda Explorer to travel across the Australia,China Tourism Exhibition and China-Australia Youth Exchange Program.



Companies in the tourism industry have also come forward to make the most out of this special year.

“The timing couldn’t be better with the federal government announcing late last year the removal of restrictions on all air services between China and Australia,” says Tourism Australia chief executive John O’Sullivan.


  • The general managers of the six major Chinese airlines of flight between Australia and mainland China are committed to boosting tourist numbers more than ever, such as putting on direct flights from lesser-known Chinese cities.


“Chinese New Year is a hugely important holiday and a period that traditionally provides a boost to our arrivals figures.” John O’Sullivan says.

Australia’s biggest hotel chain AccorHotels takes this to the next level, celebrating the fact one in eight Chinese visitors to Australia now stays in one of its properties, which includes brands such as Novotel, Sofitel and ibis.

“We’ve had our China Optimum Service Standard in place since 2011 – and it’s really paying dividends,” says Kate Marshall, director of sales, international, for AccorHotels Australia.



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