Welcome to this fortnight’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Here are the 8 top stories I’ve been following.
- Young Chinese travellers could become the next big users of Airbnb in the Australian market (paywall). Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia was recently in Sydney and noted that “there are about 400 million millennials in China who are seeking travel experiences that are the opposite of how their parents travelled”. Chinese travellers are already the second largest foreign users of Airbnb properties in Australia, behind only US tourists.
- Daigou retailer AuMake opened its flagship George Street store last Monday to a great deal of (mostly Chinese) media fanfare. AuMake has a really interesting model and I expect to see it to play a big role in Australia-China trade in the coming years. I was actually there covering the launch for a Chinese live-streaming video channel and we were getting huge viewer numbers tuning in from China.
- Alipay has formed a partnership with the Australian Tourism Export Council with the goal of expanding its mobile payments platform. ATEC members will be able attend workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane to learn more about Chinese consumers and mobile payment.
- While a big increase in flights between China and Australia have led to increased Chinese demand, it has not been all good news. Destinations including Sydney and Melbourne are currently unable to keep up with these increases in demand, meaning that package tours have seen massive price hikes, particularly in comparison to competitor destinations in Europe and the United States.
- Tourism Western Australia has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Ctrip, aimed at connecting Chinese travellers to the emerging destination. Western Australia has struggled to see the growth in Chinese visitor numbers that other Australian destinations have enjoyed, so hopefully this and other recent developments (such as more direct flights) will see a turn-around in WA’s fortunes.
- More depressing news to add to the last round-up on Chinese international students – a new study has found that at least a third of backpackers as well as international students are regularly being ripped off by their bosses, with workplace exploitation of foreign guest workers in Australia both “endemic and severe”. Workers from Asian countries including China, Taiwan and Vietnam are particularly hard-done by, with lower wages and more likely to be paid in cash. I have no idea what the solution is here – I can’t see this being an issue the electorate is concerned about, as it only directly affects people who can’t vote. What do you think can be done?
- US “wilderness” destinations such as Alaska are surging in popularity amongst young Chinese tourists, particularly ones who have visited the United States more than once. Glimpses of sights including the aurora borealis are key reasons for this trend.
- The Chinese government has announced three more years of ‘toilet revolution’, with plans to build and upgrade 64,000 public toilets between 2018 and 2020. Widespread complaints about the quality of public restroom facilities has lead to $156.8 million being invested into toilet construction and refurbishment since 2015.
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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.