Chinese Tourism Boom Shows no Signs of Slowing
China is Australia’s most valuable inbound tourism market. Australia has experienced faster arrivals growth from China than any other market.
The number of Chinese tourists was up 23% to 1.6 million in the year to September, and their spending in the year to July was up 27%, to $8.9 billion – almost 25% of spending by all foreign visitors to Australia.
Australia now tops China’s rankings of destinations, and of places people intend to visit.
The chief drawcards, according to Tourism Australia’s research, are food and wine, natural beauty, and blue skies.
The “millennial” visitors, a third of the total from China, are also seeking the type of experience they can’t have back home, and that their friends might not yet have had – so they can claim social media bragging rights.
This new generation of inbound tourist use their smartphones constantly, expect free WiFi, they use Union Pay to access to cash. They want to be assured that they have access to their staples, congee for breakfast, staff who speak their language and a safe modern hotel.
And with all these modern expectations, this new generation of tourists are seeking immersive experiences, the days of tour buses are fast vanishing. Instead, they are seeking out self-drive holidays and learning to surf.
The destination has changed, previously they may have gone for a long haul destination, North America or Europe, however, as they have become more confident about booking their own holidays, they have rapidly turned to Australia.
This new generation of tourist likes to shop too, they rely on Australia’s clean image, putting faith in the fact that products are authentic in Australia, they are truly modern consumers, they look for the brands.
Tasmania has surged in the last couple of years, particularly after a visit by China’s President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. Tasmania’s lavender bear has also become something of a cult sensation, because it can only be bought at the Bridestowe Lavender Estate farm door in Tasmania.
Tourism Australia has been running a large-scale campaign in China this year, including promotional videos on massive screens at subway lines, in Beijing and elsewhere. The campaign includes a new Chinese-language version of the Australia.cn website, the first foreign tourism body to operate such a site in China.
John O’Sullivan, CEO of Tourism Australia says the tourism industry is now more China-ready, with Chinese-speaking staff on shifts and Chinese menus at hotels, and Chinese signage at airports, making the travellers feel comfortable.
There was a boom in Japanese tourism in the 1980s and 1990s, “but not on the scale or rapidity of this”, aided by the growing number of Chinese cities with direct flights.
This year XIAMEN Airlines commenced operations from Fujian Province to both Melbourne and Sydney. China Southern commences direct flights to Adelaide from December.
Added to this is the major investment of up to 40% shareholding by Chinese enterprises in Virgin Australia.
Qantas has also increased its focus on opening up more flights to China going forward.
This will expand the number of inbound tourists to Australia well ahead of previous projections, with next year’s lunar New Year is bound to set new record of Chinese visitors.
This year, the forthcoming Australia China Business Week Sydney Forum includes ACBW 2016 Tourism Forum.
Ideally positioned for the SME sector, with industry experts providing trends, case studies, panel discussions and solutions for Australian tour, hospitality, accommodation operators and connected services.
ACBW 2016 Tourism Forum
2:00PM – 5:30PM Tuesday, 8th November
SMC Convention Centre Sydney
About the Organiser (Australian Business Forum)
Australian Business Forum (ABF) has firmly established itself in the Australia China/Asia business relationship Over the last ten years,. Through an expansive business, media and events platform across the Australia-China/Asia network, the ABF platform has upheld a focus on connecting Australian businesses from within the SME mid-cap market sector who are either already engaged in or are seeking to engage with China.
ABF has developed a major, annual Sino-Australian event schedule, hosting events including the Australia China BusinessWeek presented in Australia and China, China Digital Conference, B2BExpo and China Lunch Club.
The ABF network of partners and associations across business, government and industry bodies from Australian and Chinese sectors, brings together leaders from the forefront of the Australia-China/Asia relationship including dynamic C-level executives from a range of the top-100 companies, federal and state ministers, leading international academics, senior government officials, economists and other community leaders.