• Wu Xiubo is Australia's new tourism envoy to China.

Wu Xiubo is Australia's new tourism envoy to China. (Photo : Getty Images)

Steven Ciobo, Australian minister for trade, tourism, and trade announced the appointment of Wu Xiubo as the tourism as the Australia's tourism ambassador to China.

The announcement was made to celebrate the close relationship between China and Australia, and the important role of China in the Australian tourism market.

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Ciobo remarked, "This year promises to bring Australia and China closer and provide more opportunities for further engagement, be it in tourism and travel or more broadly in trade, sport and culture or social and academic exchanges."

He added, "China is Australia's most valuable tourism market, with the potential to be worth more than $13 billion by 2020. Last year, 1.2 million Chinese visited Australia. We anticipate this will grow during the China-Australia Year of Tourism and will continue to grow afterward."

The Australian government is engaged in various initiatives to promote Australia and China. The latest effort includes a trial 10-year trial visitor visa and removal of airline restrictions on both countries.

Qantas Airways also opened a new route between Beijing and Sydney.

China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Chairman Lu Jinzao said that the partnership between China and Australia is showing a lot of promise and that the cooperation between the two countries will be seen from the increased number of visitors.

According to the CNTA website, "China-Australia tourism cooperation shows strong momentum: last year, more than 1.2 million Chinese people visited Australia and the number of Australian visitors to China is on steady growth."

The site added, "More than 100 tourism promotion events will be hosted during the tourism year program, including organizing 1,000 Australian tourists to visit Xi'an and the tour of Panda caravan around Australia."

The administration head also announced that the two countries will be working closely for the promotion and success of the China-Australia tourism year.

Ciobo noted that 2017 will comprise of activities that will "translate consensus reached between the two countries into actions, promote bilateral tourism exchange and cooperation and lure more Chinese to visit Australia."