What makes Australia the preferred destination for Chinese Travellers?
A survey of 3,000 Chinese international travellers by the Hotels.com accommodation booking website has found that more holidaymakers from China want to go to Australia over the next year than anywhere else. This is important news for Tourism Australia. The number of Chinese tourists in Australia surged some 19% over the last year, and they spent about AU$6 billion during their stay making them one of the most important markets for tourism, says Tourism Australia (TA) managing director John O’Sullivan.
Tourism Australia’s aim is to attract over 1 million Chinese visitors and see them spend at least AU$13 billion each year, by 2020. Given the latest figures, Mr O’Sullivan is confident it’s on track to do that.
“Over the last four years the Chinese market has been our fastest growing source of visitors to our country as well as the fastest growing in terms of value”, O’Sullivan told a tourism trade show in Shanghai citing that Chinese market has been (growing) at 18 percent on average in terms of both number of visitors and how much they spend in Australia. “Within the next two or three years, China will be our number one market in terms of number of visitors, as well the amount of money that Chinese visitors spend in Australia.”
In his eyes, the recently signed Tree Trade Agreement between the two countries has opened new opportunities. One is a 10-year multi-visit visa to be introduced for Chinese tourists from next year. Another is 5,000 holiday working visas a year as Australia grants, mainly to young backpackers, from many other countries. TA is also partnered with 5,000 Chinese travel agents, and has a marketing budget targeting China. Most recently, TA teamed with Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba to promote independent travel to Australia. O’Sullivan said entering a partnership with Alibaba is a coup for Australia. “I think the world has been astounded by the success of the Alibaba story, so for us it was a really important partnership,” he said.
Explaining the Chinese affection for Australia, Hotels.com’s regional director Katherine Cole told the ABC that “Australia ticks all the boxes when it comes to what Chinese travellers are looking for in a holiday destination, and those top things are safety, historical and heritage sites as well as cuisine.” However, the study found that Australia has an additional winning factor over those other destinations – what it terms “the power of g’day” – which is that Australia is rated the most welcoming country towards Chinese visitors. Aside from friendly locals, Ms Cole says hotels are increasingly going out of their way to make Chinese visitors feel welcome. “In a lot of cases, hotel chains are putting in Mandarin-speaking staff, or providing the Chinese newspaper, translating menus, ensuring that Chinese breakfast is available as 95 per cent of Chinese actually eat in hotel when they travel,” she said.
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