Weekly Round-Up (20 March 2017)

Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.

Did you know that there are now 114 direct flights a week between 7 Australian cities and 13 Chinese mainland cities? Or that at the current rate, Chinese visitors could overtake New Zealand as our largest source of international arrivals within a few months? How about the fact that Destination NSW has discovered that more than 90% of Chinese visitors to NSW participate in nature-based activities during their trip?

These figures are all news to me too! Barely a week goes by that I’m not amazed by some new statistic relating to the Chinese tourist market. And yet at the same time, there is some cause for concern. As Nikkei Asian Review reports in this week’s top article, there are warning signs about Australia’s capacity to handle large numbers of Chinese visitors. In particular, Australia’s tourism industry suffers from shortcomings in language skills, hotel and restaurant readiness, retail offerings and specialised tourism services for Chinese tourists.

Yet for those tourism operators that are willing to invest in improving their China-readiness, the benefits are proving to more than justify the costs. Take Hamilton Island or McGuigan Wines for example. Both companies have developed China strategies over the past few years, focusing on the high-spending free and independent Chinese traveller market. Now, these companies are in the box-seat as China becomes our largest international tourist market.

Wouldn’t you like to be in the box-seat? To find out how, get in touch with us for a free consultation today.

We hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.

Australia and New Zealand focus:

  • Chinese tourism ‘Down Under’ soars on Australia-China aviation links: While the news about Chinese tourism in Australia is generally positive, there are warning signs about Australia’s capacity to handle large numbers of Chinese visitors. Observers point to perceived shortcomings in language skills, hotel and restaurant readiness, retail offerings and specialised tourism services.
  • Focus on independent Chinese travellers paying dividends for operators (paywall): Hamilton Island chief executive Glenn Bourke says while it might be tempting to target the big tour groups to come to the North Queensland resort, the decision four years ago to focus on individual, free and independent Chinese tourists and their families is starting to pay dividends.
  • Chinese visitors ramp up their travel to Australia: With the help of additional flights for Lunar New Year celebrations, the number of Chinese arrivals rose 45.1% on the same time last year to 166,000 for the month of January. At this rate, Chinese visitors could overtake NZ as our largest source of international arrivals within a few months.
  • Filming starts on Chinese TV drama on Australian soil: A new Australia-based Chinese TV drama series has commenced filming in Adelaide. The plot-line of the first episode tells the story of a Chinese street racer born in Australia, who overcomes his phobia of furry creatures by meeting a quokka.

International focus:

  • How China Uses Tourism as a Foreign Policy Tool in Asia: For China’s neighbours, incoming Chinese tourists can serve as a valuable cash injection into the local economy, but it often comes with strings attached. Jing Daily has looked at the issue using case studies including Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
  • China to build 136 new airports: Compare that to Australia, where we can’t even seem to build 1 new airport! In 2015, China’s airports handled 910 million passengers, but this total is expected to surge to 1.5 billion passengers by 2020 and 2.2 billion by 2025.
  • What Chinese Consumers Want in a Dream Destination Wedding: Chinese couples are exchanging vows and toasting to a happy life in increasingly exotic wedding locations. According to a Ctrip survey, nearly 60% of young Chinese intend to marry abroad.

That’s all for this week’s Round-Up. For more updates during the week on Chinese tourism trends, follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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