Packer wants visa applications online to boost visitors

BUSINESSMAN James Packer has called on both sides of politics to commit to processing visa applications online to help boost Chinese visitor numbers.

Mr Packer addressed the Tourism and Transport Forum annual conference in Canberra on Wednesday.

He said that integrated luxury resorts, with internal casinos, day spas, pools and live entertainment, were the key to tourism capitalising on the growing Chinese middle-class.

Mr Packer cited the case of Singapore, which in two years since opening two major integrated resorts, had boosted its Chinese in-bound tourism by 64%.

The son of former media mogul Kerry Packer has a multi-million-dollar Crown casino and hotel proposal for Sydney.

He said the rising middle class in China wanted the luxury experience, but it wasn't about the five-star tourism provider versus the rest of the tourism industry.

Mr Packer said he was confident that if Australia could take advantage of the booming luxury market, it would help other tourism sectors.

He said the creation of the two resorts in Singapore had directly employed 22,000 people, with 45,000 employed indirectly, and he believed similar results could come from building an integrated resort in an Australian capital city.



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