Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Here’s a question to get you thinking on a Monday. How would you entice Chinese tourists to visit more of regional Australia?
For the NSW government, the answer appears to be splashing images of Mudgee and Dubbo across buses and trams in Hong Kong. Interesting strategy right? I wonder how much is being spent on this campaign, and really hope that it is being backed up with ensuring there is an adequate supply of accommodation catering to Chinese travellers’ needs PLUS training of tourism and hospitality workers in those regions. If not, I’ll be the first to put my hand up to work with those regions to ensure they are ready for an increase in Chinese visitors.
In other news this week, the CEO of Star Casino Matt Bekier has railed against the “high-fiving” going on in tourism circles about our increasing Chinese numbers, while Australia’s market share falls. The two big problems according to Bekier? A lack of quality 4 and 5 star accommodation (although there is a significant pipeline of work) and poor customer service standards. On the latter point, you may be wondering how you can ensure that your Chinese customers receive great service. To find out, read my intro post on the topic here, and please get in touch for a free consultation if you would like to find out more.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
Australia and New Zealand focus:
- NSW invites armies of rich Asian tourists to Mudgee and Dubbo: 850,000 Chinese visited NSW last year, spending a total of $2.67 billion. But for many of these tourists, Sydney is all they’ll see of the state – and the NSW government is trying something new to change that. Images of Mudgee and Dubbo will be splashed across Hong Kong, in buses and trams, and in magazines and newspapers, to entice visitors to these regional locations. I have some concerns about this strategy, but something is better than nothing.
- Australia risks losing Chinese market share from an inadequate hotel supply: Matt Bekier, CEO of Star Entertainment Group, has come out swinging, and we’re glad someone did. Speaking to CNBC last week he commented: “it’s fascinating that while we’re high-fiving each other about how great we are in getting the Chinese tourists to come to Australia, we’re losing market share”. Inadequate hotel supply seems to be an issue also affecting New Zealand, with $800 hotel rooms during CNY having the potential to scare off the Chinese group tour market.
- China Craves Foreign Goods. Students in Australia Supply Them: Chinese students in Australia say as many as eight in 10 of them are involved in the daigou business. According to Peter Cai, “just through the daigou’s own personal networks, they enable a new market for a small- and medium-sized business in Australia”.
- Chinese millennials are putting off marriage in favor of the single lifestyle: China’s “modern day yuppies” with higher levels of education and income, and single status are “upgrading” their lifestyles by putting their money towards gyms, fine dining, travel, high fashion, and social apps.
- In Fast-Paced China, Marathon Craze Is Off And Running (Despite A Clumsy Start): Six years ago China hosted 22 marathons. This year it’s scheduled to host more than 400. Yet it hasn’t been all smooth sailing; one marathon last year saw 12,000 (out of 20,000) runners require medical assistance. Meanwhile, did you know WeChat can even keep you fit? Check out WeChat Run, a feature which allows users to compete against each other and track their fitness.
- Chinese businesses cash in on Denmark’s oyster crisis: Last week we reported on Denmark’s oyster problem and the social media buzz it created. Well, it didn’t take long for some of China’s biggest companies to get involved, with Alibaba’s Tmall striking a deal to bring Denmark’s oysters to China, and UTour, a Chinese tour agency, announcing special gourmet food tours to Denmark.