A ground breaking dinner event held by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in Sydney, Australia was attended by deputy tourism ministers from the provinces of Shanxi, Tibet, Anhui and Guangxi along with Chinese tourism and industry leaders from Shanghai, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hebei, Fujian, Jiangsu and Sichuan.
The large delegation was accompanied by senior officials from CNTA Beijing, with China embassy officials and senior representatives of UnionPay (South Pacific), Bank of China (Australia) and China Eastern Airlines also present on the night.
In addition to the large China contingent, leaders from the Australian tourism, finance and banking sectors together with senior Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials participated in what was a highly memorable night.
Australia Shadow Minister for Tourism, Hon. Bob Baldwin MP praised all those involved with the event and said “Tonight is an example of the commitment the Chinese Government has to continuing the development of bilateral relationships between China and Australia. Cultural and economic exchanges are important for both our countries. China is now our largest trading partner, our most valuable tourism market, and the third most popular place for investment by Chinese citizens. There is growing travel movement between China and Australia and I share the view of my Chinese colleagues that a particular focus needs to be placed on the greater utilisation of air capacity now available between our two countries”.
Held at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, three major announcements were made:
- The launch of the ground breaking book “My Memorable China Travel Experience by 20 Outstanding Australian and New Zealand Leaders” – a collaboration between CNTA and CHINA READY which has brought together a collection of the most memorable travel experiences through the eyes of a variety of outstanding Australian and New Zealand leaders
- The celebration of a special program by CNTA which has resulted in an inaugural group of Australia’s top wholesale and retail travel agents being accredited as “China Travel Specialists” via an accreditation process initiated by CNTA in collaboration with CHINA READY
- The global launch of the Great Wall Prepaid-China Travel Card through UnionPay International, CNTA, and issued locally through the Bank of China. The card allows Australian and other international visitors to China a convenient payment option with a staggering 5.69 million merchants
The event was the last for Dr Kuang Lin who has been Head of CNTA–Australia and New Zealand– for the past 4 years. Dr Kuang is moving to London to head up CNTA–United Kingdom, Northern Europe and South Africa.
The presence of so many senior leaders from China and Australia was testament to the high esteem in which Dr Kuang is held, and acknowledged the valuable work and significant contribution he has made during his time in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Garry Crockett was asked by the Australian Government representatives and the Australian tourism industry to thank Dr Kuang given the involvement he had had with him and CNTA in his dual roles as Global Executive Chairman of CHINA READY and President of the Accommodation Association of Australia.
“Australia and New Zealand’s loss is the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa’s gain”, commented Mr Crockett. “Dr Kuang has been an outstanding advocate for China and CNTA and has facilitated tremendous opportunities for Australia and New Zealand during his time down under. We as an industry are extremely grateful for all he has done for us and wish him well as he journeys to the Northern Hemisphere before eventually returning to his home in Beijing”.
Dr Kuang received a standing ovation and best wishes from everyone present on the night.