Welcome to this fortnight’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Here are the 8 top stories I’ve been following.
- Australia’s tourism ministers gathered in Beijing two weeks ago for the Australian Tourism Ministers’ Meeting as part of the China-Australia Year of Tourism. Australia received 1.2 million Chinese visitors last year, but we still trail the US, Russia and 11 Asian countries as preferred destinations – so plenty of room for growth as China’s middle class rises.
- Those 1.2 million visitors did spend a lot though! According to figures released last week, Chinese visitors spent $9.8 billion in the year to June 2017. They were the biggest spenders out of all international visitors, contributing to a new record total spend of $40.6 billion, a 7% increase on the previous year.
- Rowan Callick has written a decent summary of why Australia is increasingly popular for Chinese tourists (paywall), and it largely has to do with our perceived safety. An important clarification on his piece: there were 122 million outbound trips taken by Chinese last year, that does not mean 122 million Chinese (about 10% of the population) travelled abroad. The number is far lower than that, but again, it is ever growing. And currently, Australia is getting only 1% of them!
- Speaking of summaries, Dragon Trail has put together a very good overview of China’s online travel market and five trends you need to be aware of. This recommendation at the end is worth repeating: “When it comes to travel review websites, the best way to start is simply by reading and tracking your own reviews… Reading other reviews about your destination will help you to understand what’s most popular in your city, and this can then inform your Chinese marketing strategy. It’s also helpful to ask your customers to write reviews – although Tripadvisor, also known as Maotuying in China, translates reviews in other languages into Chinese, there is a strong preference among Chinese travelers for reviews written by other Chinese.” Guess who offers an audit of your Chinese language reviews and tips on your marketing strategy? We do!
- Understanding written Chinese is impressive, but speaking Mandarin and performing online to millions of Chinese fans is on a completely different level. Two Australians have been getting a bit of attention recently for doing just that, and have launched successful “wanghong” (internet celebrity) careers. Their names are David Gulasi and Amy Lyons, and both have recently (finally?) received attention from mainstream Australian media. Read about David here (paywall), and Amy here and here.
- A new survey has found that 23% of Chinese-Australians living interstate would choose to visit Tasmania ahead of any other state. Queensland is the second most popular destination with 22%, followed by NSW and Victoria (both 14%), Western Australia (8%), Northern Territory (7%) and only 7% of interstate Chinese-Australians wanted to visit the ACT or South Australia.
- Do you know where “Dolphin Island” is? That is the name Chinese tourists call Moreton Island, and the dolphin-feeding sessions on the island are fast becoming the top activity for Chinese visitors in South-East Queensland. Tangalooma Island Resort was ahead of the game in targeting China, and that hard work is now paying off, with Chinese tourists now accounting for about 20% of the resort’s 250,000 annual visitors.
- As a runner, I found this article on the explosion of running in China really interesting. Two statistics are worth mentioning. Firstly, while China only hosted 22 road running races six years ago, that number skyrocketed to 328 last year. And secondly, the number of participants in those races more than doubled in one year, from 1.3 million in 2015 to 2.8 million in 2016. Perhaps it is time for more races in Australia to be making Chinese-language versions of their websites!
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I hope you enjoyed this edition of the China Ready Now Round-Up. For more updates during the week on Chinese tourism trends and how to attract Chinese tourists, follow me on LinkedIn.