• Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will lead a tourism delegation to China next week. (AAP)
Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will lead a tourism delegation to China next week as Australia prepares to welcome record tourist numbers.
Source:
AAP
18 Feb 2017 - 2:24 PM  UPDATED 18 Feb 2017 - 2:24 PM

A landmark aviation deal between Canberra and Beijing could let the genie out of the bottle and boost Chinese tourist numbers to Australia.

Capacity restrictions for Chinese and Australian airlines were lifted late last year allowing carriers to offer unlimited flights to and from any points in both countries including international airports in regional Australia.

It was the first time China signed such an agreement with any country.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will lead a tourism delegation to Beijing and Shanghai early next week which will include airport representatives.

"China is Australia's most valuable tourism market, with the potential to be worth more than $13 billion by 2020," Mr Ciobo told AAP.

Growing this important tourism market will create more Australian jobs, he said.

Tourism operators Bridge Climb Sydney and north Queensland's Skyrail Rainforest Cableway will also participate in the delegation.

Australia welcomed 1.2 million Chinese visitors last year and experts predict numbers will reach two million by 2019-20 contributing $16.4 billion to the Australian economy.

This year has been designated the China-Australia Year of Tourism.