Tourism Australia to build website behind China's firewall

Tourism Australia will build a website behind China's "golden shield" firewall to promote holidays to our fastest-growing customer base.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson says the China-based website will tailor the Aussie tourism message to the country's booming middle classes.

"With over 500 million Chinese citizens online, it is vital we reach them to promote great Australian holidays," Mr Ferguson told the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Symposium on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

"A locally based ... website will provide Australia's tourism industry with an advantage over our competitors."

The minister told the symposium it was essential for Australian tourism operators to grab the initiative and come up with ideas to make sure Chinese visitors have a quality, safe and enjoyable holiday they'll recommend to others.

He says Australia's extraordinary mining boom is also creating opportunities ready for the picking.

"Without the mining boom we would have to assume a weaker China and a corresponding reduction in visitors from Asia that would go with that," Mr Ferguson said.

"The mining boom is a sign of a growing Asia and a growing Asian market for tourists."

Tourism Queensland boss Anthony Hayes told delegates despite the mining industry buying up skilled workers, often from traditional tourism sectors, it should not be seen as the enemy.

He said the boom has triggered population and wealth growth in areas like central Queesland.

"Instead of people going south or north for a holiday we can get them to go west and east," he said.

"With cash flowing through the system you can re-invest in your business and suddenly you're more attractive to the international market.

"I think it's a fabulous opportunity for all of us."