Welcome to this week’s China Ready Round-Up, highlighting all the exciting news happening in the Chinese outbound tourism space, within Australia and abroad. This week – Chinese millennials are warming to wine, the Gold Coast marathon benefits from China’s running boom and a spike in Chinese interest in UK travel following Brexit. Let’s get into it!
- China’s new wine lovers: affluent millennials drinking more, turning to France, Chile and Australia: “Developing drinkers”, typically younger consumers buying wine at mainstream prices and drinking it more frequently now account for about 19% of Chinese drinkers of imported wine. (South China Morning Post)
- OUR TAKE: Australian wine tour operators, restaurants and vineyard owners should start targeting China’s millennials and international students, or include Australian wines in their product offerings.
- Chinese tourists will touch down on the Coast en masse for the Gold Coast Marathon: 5 years ago, the Gold Coast Marathon only had 1 Chinese runner. This year, over 350 Chinese registered. The organisers of the Gold Coast Marathon are pulling out all the stops to attract more Chinese runners, including signing a deal with Sina Sports to broadcast the race online in China and employing more Chinese speaking staff. Gold Coast Tourism also hired a social media fitness celebrity to take part in the race and share her Gold Coast experiences with her half a million online followers. (Gold Coast Bulletin)
- OUR TAKE: China is currently experiencing a running boom, leading to more Chinese combining their travels with races. Tourism businesses should prepare for increases in demand during key sporting events.
- Xiamen Airlines arrives in Melbourne: Xiamen Airlines has added a second Australian port to its growing route network, with the carrier’s inaugural service to Melbourne touching down on Friday morning. The airline becomes the 5th Chinese carrier to serve the Victorian capital. (Australian Aviation)
- WeChat: The app you’ve never heard of that’s key to cracking China: Great article by SMH on WeChat and how it is being utilised by Australian businesses to tap into the China market. (Sydney Morning Herald)
- OUR TAKE: See our recent introduction into WeChat here.
- UK trips sell out as Chinese tourists take advantage of the fall of the pound following Brexit vote: Ctrip reported a spike in tour bookings by travelers looking to get a deal. (Shanghai Daily)
- Royal Caribbean hosts first ever ship-naming ceremony in China: Actress Fan Bingbing becomes company’s first Chinese “godmother” to its newest ship, “Ovation of the Seas”. The ship will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to homeport in China immediately after its delivery. China is the world’s fastest-growing cruise market. Chinese passengers took one million cruise journeys last year, up from about 700,000 in 2014, and 4.5m passengers are expected by 2020. (Travel Daily Media)
- Uber targets outbound Chinese travelers with Uber+Travel: Uber China has just announced its newest app, Uber+Travel, which aims to help users who are traveling overseas by connecting them to everything they might need transport-wise, from boats to air balloons. (Tech Wire Asia)
- Who says Chinese travellers are more trouble than they are worth?: Management consulting firm Oliver Wyman has sought to dispel common misconceptions about Chinese outbound travellers, including views they are more trouble t
han they are worth, or group travel is being replaced by FIT, with a new report. Recommended reading for all tourism and hospitality businesses. Download the report here.
- eLong wins hotel booking portal of WeChat Wallet:
WeChat Wallet, a mobile payment platform of China’s most popular social network Tencent, has launched a booking channel that enables accommodation and travel products booking through OTA eLong. (China Travel News)
- China social media users compared: Weibo vs WeChat vs Momo: Despite the growth of WeChat, Weibo is still king for China’s internet users to get news, follow interesting content and get/share useful knowledge. WeChat dominates when it comes to interacting with friends. (China Internet Watch)
- 532,000 Chinese nationals visited Victoria in the 12 months to March 2016. (link)
- Chinese tourists represented a third of all visitor spending in Victoria in the 12 months to March 2016, larger than the next six markets combined. (link)
- 33%: the percent of Virgin Australia now owned by Chinese companies following investments by Nanshan Group and HNA Group (owner of Hainan Airlines). (link)