Welcome to the Year of the Snake

13 Feb 2013 11:30 AMJann Stuckey

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Cairns is gearing up for an influx of up to 20,000 tourists from China and Hong Kong over the next few weeks as celebrations for Chinese Lunar New Year get into full swing.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey, who launched the Chinese New Year Festival today, said the availability of more than 50 additional flights would help make this the most successful New Year celebration ever.

“This festival is a popular and highly-anticipated community event which celebrates the region’s rich Chinese heritage and diversity,” Ms Stuckey said.

“China has a long association with far north Queensland, going back as far as the gold rushes on the Palmer River in the late 1800s.

“While the gold was eventually panned out, the Chinese association with the far north has continued to grow and the region is the better for it.

“Despite recent flooding in parts of the state, it is events like this festival that demonstrate it’s business as usual for Cairns and Tropical North Queensland.”

Ms Stuckey said the Newman Government was proud to partner with Cairns Regional Council to support the Cairns Chinese New Year Festival.

Ms Stuckey said Tourism and Events Queensland’s Regional Development Program has allocated $10,000 to the festival, and a further $10,000 had been provided by Multicultural Affairs Queensland.

“The commencement of additional flights supported by the government’s $8 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund will help make this year’s festival bigger and better than ever,” she said.

“The Newman Government is committed to promoting multiculturalism, and celebrating the many cultures that have made this state what it is today.

“Our DestinationQ strategy recognises cultural tourism as a priority niche market within the tourism and event sector.

“Supporting events like this in Cairns is part of our commitment to double the annual overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland to $30 billion by 2020.”

[ENDS] 5 February 2013