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Melbourne sees boost in Chinese visitor arrivals

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Melbourne sees boost in Chinese visitor arrivals
Statistics show a return of the Chinese visitor market to Melbourne as the city gains a new air link through low cost carrier Beijing Capital Airlines.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for February 2024 reveal Melbourne had 50,240 short term arrivals from China for the month compared with 14,240 in February 2023 and only 2,700 in February 2022. 

But while arrivals from China are increasing, they still do not match monthly figures from the eve of the pandemic in February 2019 when 67,900 Chinese visitors arrived in Melbourne.

Melbourne Airport’s latest statistics showed 923,065 international arrivals during March 2024 which represented both a 28 per cent increase on March 2023 and its biggest ever figure for international arrivals in March. The previous March arrivals record was 916,825, set in 2018.

Further evidence that travel is slowly returning to pre-COVID levels is revealed by Melbourne recording 3,016,947 passenger movements last month, which is the fourth time in the past six months it topped the three million mark.

Announcing the new China connection, Melbourne Airport said Bejing Capital Airlines would commence flights between Melbourne and Hangzhou in June offering three service a week on an Airbus A330. Hangzhou is home to 11 million people, more than twice the size of Melbourne.

The new flights mark the eighth non-stop mainland Chinese destination connected to Melbourne, restoring capacity between China and Melbourne to 91 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s estimated that an average daily international flight is worth around $154 million to the Victorian economy, so we know these flights will help fill our restaurants, support our shops, and give our farmers access to millions more consumers,” said Melbourne Airport CEO, Lorie Argus.

“China is Victoria’s largest two-way trading partner and the number one buyer of Victorian goods with sales topping $6 billion last financial year.”

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