Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Chinese tourists increasingly wanting “experiences” when they travel, rather than just visiting a destination for the cheaper shopping opportunities (see here, here and here). This reflects two events occurring simultaneously. Firstly, the Chinese government is cracking down on “suitcase shoppers” who bring back foreign consumer goods such as milk powder and beauty products. Secondly, 76% of Chinese tourists now consider travel to be an important way to improve their quality of life and happiness – and having unique experiences on those trips are crucial to their social cachet.
As a result, we are seeing the rise of “experiential tourism”, with businesses that focus on travel niches such as luxury eco-tourism, adventure tourism or travel for the elderly finding a new market in Chinese customers. This trend will only continue to grow in the coming years, as Chinese tourists become increasingly sophisticated and worldly. This development is great news for Australian tourism operators, because we can all agree that there are so many amazing and unique experiences to be had here. To find out how your business can take advantage of this trend, get in touch with us for a free consultation.
We hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
- Surge in Chinese tourism to test Australia (paywall): We haven’t seen anything yet in terms of Chinese visitor numbers – set to double within 4 years to 2 million visitors per year. And yet our major tourism destinations are already struggling with capacity. For regional destinations this represents a massive opportunity, but much work will need to be done in a short time frame to capitalise on it.
- Qantas Returns to Beijing After 7 Years as Tourism Hits Record: Qantas will begin daily flights between Sydney and Beijing in time for Chinese New Year. The return of the route, axed during the GFC, reflects the surging demand from China, with 1.25 million Chinese visiting Australia in the past year.
- Good times over for China’s ‘suitcase’ shoppers in Australia (paywall): A change to Chinese customs rules is affecting the estimated 100,000 “daigou” buyers in Australia. The Chinese government raised import taxes for air-delivered consumer goods in April, and further restrictions are anticipated next year.
- Two Reasons Chinese Millennials Have More Cash To Burn: Compared to young Australians, Chinese millennials have higher disposable incomes to spend on travel for two key reasons. Firstly, they are not burdened by study debts (paid for by parents). Secondly, they generally don’t have housing expenses.
- UK-based Jacada Travel targets adventure-seeking Chinese tourists: Jacada Travel, a luxury travel agency is expanding to go after China’s niche market “who want to go to interesting destinations and have real connections and experiences.”
- China’s Golden Week Goes More Global: In spite of a Chinese economic slowdown, preliminary data suggests that year-on-year growth of international travel during China’s Golden Week picked up pace, with the UK the big winner.
- Luxury Ecotourism and Wellness Travel Attract China’s Wealthy: While ecotourism may be a growing luxury buzzword worldwide, it’s still at an early stage in China—but this is changing quickly as a host of high-end eco-resorts are cropping up across the country to give weathy Chinese eco-experiences.