The benefits enjoyed by businesses in Southern Australia from the direct flights between Adelaide and Guangzhou go beyond inbound tourism. Last December 13, a thrice-weekly China Southern Airline service started making it the first ever direct link between Adelaide and the economic powerhouse that is expected to generate broader opportunities for businesses.
According to Mr. Keenihan, the SA Tourism Commission chairman, benefits are generated from tourist visits and additional export capabilities. When a Chinese visitor spends a holiday in South Australia, he is exposed to high end food and wine, property investments, education and migration opportunities. After a firsthand experience of the authentic and high quality environment where products are made, Chinese visitors will start to seek the SA brands.
However, there is also a problem with the growing demand for premium SA foods and beverages from Chinese consumers. Freight capacity of outbound China Southern Airline can be a critical factor in the speedy growth of SA’s high value exports to Mainland China. Mr. Keenihan has estimated the minimum benefit generated for SA economy for each return flight at $1 million or more than $150 million annually.
China Southern Airline operates more than 700 passenger and freight aircraft considered the largest in Asia and among the largest in the world. Airbus A330-200 that is servicing the Adelaide route has a cargo capacity of 30 tonnes per week. The industries that are most likely to benefit include seafood and beef sector. Produce can go direct from Adelaide to China without the need for transship through other ports like Hong Kong.
Aside from tourists, business leaders will travel to Adelaide through China Southern Airline which increases the potential for SA business leaders to reach new areas in China. The link will also increase the visibility of South Australia to Chinese investors and students.
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