Members of the media, travel trade, government and industry gathered at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for a China tourism night in celebration of CAYOT 2017. Mr Li Shishong, Vice Chairman, China National Tourism Administration commented on how the bilateral cooperation has benefited both countries, each one an important market to the other, and pointed out the rising interest in China as a destination among Australian travellers with its 52 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. His Excellency Mr Cheng Jingye extended his wish to share China with more people, and encouraged travellers to look beyond the stereotypical highlights to China’s spectacular natural beauty, from mountains to grasslands, its cuisine and culture, including opera.
Before the presentation dinner and CAYOT 2017 Award Ceremony and Lucky Draw, guests participated in a Mini Travel Mart of Chinese airlines and tour providers, with drinks and canapés.
Over a sit-down dinner of scallops, braised beef cheeks or blue-eye cod and chocolate tart, guests were entertained by two traditional dances: young girls performing a traditional ribbon dance and women a parasol dance.
John O’Sullivan, MD, Tourism Australia, representing the Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment, Steven Ciobo, shared some of the highlights of the 100 activities that have taken place as part of CAYOT 2017, including all state and territory tourism ministers travelling to China, taking AFL to Shanghai, and a forthcoming business delegation making the trip to China for the closing of CAYOT 2017. Among the figures that have come out of the year, he says that 1 in 8 people who visit Australia are Chinese, and 1 in 4 tourist dollars spent in Australia are spent by Chinese travellers. For all these statistics, however, Mr O’Sullivan pointed out that the industry is more than numbers; it is bringing people together.
The Awards Ceremony thanked the businesses that have been involved in bringing CAYOT 2017 to fruition, and concluded with a prize draw of flight packages to China. Guests left with a Chinese National Tourism Administration goodie bag of maps, magazines and a traditional fan.