Welcome to this fortnight’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Here are the 8 top stories I’ve been following.
- Let’s start with social media. According to an Expedia study, Chinese travelers are by far the most likely group of travelers to be influenced by social media. 92% of Chinese travelers said social media influences their decision-making process. So, what are you doing on Chinese social media?
- Some of the biggest users of Chinese social media are university students, and recently, Chinese students in Australia have been attracting a lot of attention, with most of it being negative. To digest all the issues, I’ve found these two articles the most helpful: Kirsty Needham in SMH and James Laurenceson in the Lowy Interpreter.
- Of course, for the tourism industry, much like Australia’s education industry, it is important to not rely too heavily on China. Recent events in South Korea have shown that the Chinese government is not afraid to use economic coercion to achieve political outcomes. However, the result has been “a spectacular own goal by Beijing”. I personally don’t see a circumstance where something similar would occur here in Australia, but the point stands: China, while our largest tourism market, is but one of many growing markets, which are also worthy of attention.
- Speaking of growing markets, the latest international visitor arrival statistics show double digit growth in holiday arrivals from Indonesia (35%), India (21%), Malaysia (20%), Canada (19%), USA (18%), Korea (17%) and Japan (16%). China just missed out on making the list.
- Meanwhile, Australia’s tourism industry could be hit by a new Chinese government ban on “irrational” overseas investment by private companies. The Australian government has sought clarity around the issue in a high-level meeting in Beijing. For more, see my earlier post on this story.
- In Europe, many countries are dealing with the challenge of how to stand out from neighbouring destinations on platforms such as WeChat. There is no one answer, but this article on Skift does a great job of looking at a few of the trends of Chinese independent travel.
- One way to stand out for tourism businesses is to focus on telling personal stories and tap into existing discussion topics. Websites like Mafengwo (similar to TripAdvisor) are a great source of information on what Chinese tourists are searching for. Here are the top 10 tourism topics for Chinese people in the lead up to the National Day holiday, according to Mafengwo and China Daily.
- And finally, Brisbane has secured its first direct flights from Beijing. Air China will fly four times a week from Beijing, injecting more than $191 million into the Queensland economy and bringing nearly 170,000 passengers to Queensland over the next four years. Hainan Airlines has also begun a twice-weekly service to Brisbane direct from Shenzhen.
Are you ready to race ahead of the competition and be receive more high-spending 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.