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China’s Traveller Profile

3 Key Lessons to Attracting Chinese Tourists Down Under

China is now the second-largest source of tourists to Australia with 95,400 visitors during January 2014, an increase of 24.6 per cent compared to January 2013, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics. Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the number of Chinese visiting Australia could double to 1.6 million by 2020 at Tourism Australia’s Destination Australia conference earlier this year.

In order to motivate this extensive tourism market to come visit Australia, it is essential to gain a further understanding of Chinese consumers and what differentiates them from other tourists. Below are three key characteristics of Chinese travellers that need to be understood by Australia’s tourism industry.

1. Chinese travellers turn to research online

Chinese travellers are growing more reliant on online sources with 90 per cent of Chinese independent travellers using the internet when both planning and booking their trips, according to Tourism Queensland. Travellers are using the web to determine the reliability of travel companies and destinations with 53 per cent educating themselves about destinations and brands before their holiday.

With these statistics in mind, Australian companies have a great opportunity to harness the potential of Chinese tourists’ internet behaviours. Successful online marketing to these consumers is a key step to tapping into the Chinese tourism market and enticing more travellers to enjoy Australia’s offerings.

2. Chinese travellers’ tastes are changing

Group travel was and is popular because it simplifies the process of securing visas, booking hotels and arranging the itinerary. It also takes away the intimidation of visiting a foreign country with an alien tongue and offers comforts of home such as Chinese cuisine.

However, group travel restricts flexibility and individual interests and needs when on vacation. A set itinerary constrains travellers to the most-seen destinations instead of allowing them to enjoy lesser-known cultural experiences such as local food and wine, outdoor activities and vibrant art scenes.

Growing numbers of Chinese prefer to independently plan their holiday with 67 per cent preferring to make their own international arrangements, compared to 62 per cent in 2013, according to China International Travel Mart (CITM).

Although this market is still in its infancy, it has great potential for development.

3. Chinese seek a unique travelling experience

Simply offering natural beauty as Australia’s main attraction is no longer a successful strategy to attract Chinese travellers.

More experienced Chinese tourists think of themselves as world explorers and see group tourism as banal. They want control of their itineraries and they respond well when brands make them feel special. Much of the younger generation, especially those raised in upper-class families, have already experienced group travel and as a result, desire a more fulfilling holiday experience. They want an experience that goes beyond a token photo with the Sydney Opera House.

They seek out novel experiences that make them stand out in their social circles. Independent tourists or small, self-organized groups are seeking out more interactive experiences that emphasizes their individuality.

Niche tours for activities such as wine appreciation, golf and ocean fishing are increasingly popular for small groups of experienced tourists. Travellers’ increasing disposable income gives them the ability to enjoy luxurious and value-adding experiences. Many are choosing to travel holidays that couple 5 star accommodation with good food, culture and exciting activities, all of which Australia has to offer.

Therefore, Australia’s current challenge is effectively unleashing this market’s full potential.By combining Australia’s award-winning natural beauty with unique cultural experiences on offer, Australia has great potential to harness a greater proportion of the Chinese tourism market.

Source: Think China

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