Brisbane Marketing, the city’s economic development agency, is the recipient of a $500,000 Australian Government TQUAL (Australian Tourism Development Program) grant to attract international students, leisure visitors and conventions to the greater Brisbane region from Mainland China.
The ‘Brisbane Ambassadors for Life’, a sustainable tourism program is focused on building long-term relationships with students, leisure and business visitors from China, making them advocates and ambassadors for Brisbane.
The Australian Government Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism is responsible for the TQUAL Grants. The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research through AusIndustry has responsibility for the delivery of the program, with the key objective to stimulate sustainable growth throughout the Australian tourism industry.
The Ambassadors’ experiences are captured and shared on the ‘Ambassadors for Life’ website – www.brisbane.com.cn – a dedicated Chinese language website encouraging visitors to come to Brisbane.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said the Brisbane ‘Ambassadors for Life’ program was the first step in a long-term strategy to secure more Chinese travellers, international students and business events to Brisbane.
“There are over 117,300 Chinese travellers arriving and departing from Brisbane every year, injecting $109 million into the City’s economy,” Cr Newman said.
“Brisbane provides the majority of international and domestic air capacity for Queensland and attracts a very high proportion of international and domestic visitor expenditure.
“This program recognises the strength of the growing Chinese travel and international student markets and encourages visitors to share their Brisbane experiences with their friends and families at home.”
The ‘Ambassadors for Life’ program will leverage from Brisbane’s sister city relationships with Shenzhen and Chongqing; and the Asia Pacific signature trade and investment event, the Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS).
“Brisbane enjoys very productive trade linkages resulting from the APCS and the sister city relationships with Shenzhen and Chongqing, which will be further leveraged and enhanced as part of this project,” Cr Newman said.
“As Australia’s new world city, Brisbane has so much to offer to the Chinese marketplace.
“Not only is it one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, Brisbane also possesses a pro-business environment with collaborative governments and a strong and sustainable economy.”
The APCS biennial event is recognised as the premier government and business networking forum for the Asia Pacific region, with the 2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit returning to Brisbane between 6 and 8 July 2011.
The ‘Ambassadors for Life’ program will include the appointment of China-based tourism and education consultants, Asia Tourism Relations (ATR); in-market product training; familiarisation trips to Brisbane; networking to align relationships between Brisbane and Chinese tourism, education and convention related businesses; tradeshow representation; collateral; social networking; electronic newsletters; agent seminars and launches in Brisbane’s sister cities.
ATR will specifically target education agents, leisure tourism retail and wholesale agents and business groups as channels to communicate to consumers about Brisbane’s prominence as Australia’s new world city.
The program will be managed by Brisbane Marketing, the city’s economic development agency.
“This new international initiative will be Brisbane Marketing’s largest effort to increase commercial integration from Mainland China, something we will now be able to deliver thanks to the grant funding and the support from our industry partners,” Brisbane Marketing CEO John Aitken said.
“This innovative program will build on positive experiences of ambassadors from China to encourage visitors to stay longer in Brisbane, enhance their experiences and support jobs in Brisbane,” he said.
Brisbane Marketing will work with Austrade, Tourism Australia and Tourism Queensland to leverage from their long-standing networks in Mainland China.