Welcome to this fortnight’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Here are the 8 top stories I’ve been following.
- They’ve done it! China has overtaken New Zealand as Australia’s top source of short-term visitor arrivals. Where to from here?
- Speaking of arrivals, do you know where Zhengzhou is? It is the latest Chinese city to get direct flights to Australia (we’re up to 16 now by my count), with Jetstar launching twice-weekly flights to Melbourne. Zhengzhou is home to the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Chinese kungfu. Other than that, it is home to about 10 million people. The flights will bring an estimated additional 35,000 Chinese tourists to Australia each year.
- Airbnb is really doubling down on China. After launching their dedicated Chinese brand “Aibiying” earlier this year, they’ve now quadrupled their China-based tech team to further their expansion and target Chinese millennial travellers. They are also using key opinion leaders (KOLs) heavily, and KOL marketplace ParkLU has some great stats on their impact. DragonTrail also recently wrote about Airbnb’s Chinese competitors and the opportunities for Airbnb in helping Chinese travel abroad.
- With many Chinese tourists being so new to international travel, safety continues to hugely important. A survey by Ctrip found that the top 10 countries that Chinese tourists perceive to be safe for travel are (in order): China, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and UAE. Good news for both Australia and NZ, but don’t forget to always emphasise safety!
- One of the biggest areas of concern for Chinese travellers when abroad is food. Namely, understanding what is on the menu. I know this first-hand from having to try to translate hipster cafe menus to my Chinese customers. So this tie-up between Alipay and Yelp to help Chinese travellers discover, plan and make reservations directly within Alipay’s mobile lifestyle app, using Yelp content, is good news. Unfortunately it will just be for 4 cities in the US to start with. Read my earlier post on how restaurants and cafes can become more welcoming to Chinese tourists here.
- The Chinese government has moved to halt “irrational” overseas investments by restricting purchases of real estate and entertainment assets. The restrictions are aimed at Chinese companies such as Dalian Wanda. Anbang Insurance, Fosun Group and HNA, which holds a 13% stake in Virgin Australia.
- “We should regard education, tourism and immigration as three human pillars on which we will build the next phase of the relationship.” I really like this article from New Zealand’s Sir Don McKinnon, and so much of it applies to Australia as well. The last 3 paragraphs of the article are particularly great – so many valid points! What do you think?
- And finally, there are concerns that noisy Chinese tourists may be drowning out alien signals. Seriously.
Do you want to get ahead of the competition and be ready for Chinese tourists this coming summer? Get in touch with us for a free consultation.
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.