Western Australia expects Chinese tourism investors and tourists: deputy premier

14:22, July 17, 2011      

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Swimming with dolphins, enjoying the sunshine and blue sky on white sand beaches, tasting wines and chocolates in a vineyard hidden in rich forest ... That is all you can enjoy in Western Australia (WA), despite its reputation as a mining state for decades.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Tourism of Western Australia State Kim Hames told Xinhua in an interview on Sunday that the state is a tourist paradise yet to be rediscovered.

"People may think that we are a western state with strong mining center and most of our state is mining area. That is not the case. Mining area covers only a small part of our vast state," Hames said.

"Western Australia boasts vast areas of great interests together with blue sky and pleasant weather. We have excellent wineries on the southwest Margaret River where people can enjoy tasty wines, cheese and chocolates. In the north, we have more tropical climate with edgy cliffs and huge waterfalls. They are totally different tropical sceneries," he said.

The deputy premier, who is in charge of tourism in the state, said WA is an ideal destination to Chinese tourists and his department is keen on cooperating with Chinese side to co- marketing WA's special natural and cultural attractions.

"We are of the same time zone and shorter distance from China and that is of Chinese tourists' convenience to make a trip down to WA after the planned direct airline between Guangzhou and Perth is opened later this year," he said.

Hames admitted that WA is not as well-known to Chinese tourists as eastern part of Australia, but even that is a good selling point.

"Most Chinese tourists prefer to go to east of Australia, like Sydney and Gold Coast or Cairns, but I know that those who have been to Australia many times are looking for something different and new."

WA boasts the world-class golf course but the price is cheaper than the golf courses in other places of Australia, he added.

As to investment and marketing efforts, Hames said WA is currently getting prepared for the anticipated increase of Chinese tourists after the direct flight between Perth and Guangzhou is launched.

Hames stressed that his state is very keen on attracting Chinese investment, particularly in hotel and infrastructure. "We would love to see the establishment of tourist facilities and hotels that cater for, specifically, tourists from China."

Western Australia is Australia's largest state, covering one- third of Australia's total area. The state boasts not only rich iron ores and other resources but also extraordinary marine lives, beaches, wineries, landscapes and multi-cultural society. The State government is now determined to reshape the state's profile from a stereotyped mining center to a tourist destination by a series of marketing and policies initiatives.

Source: Xinhua
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