Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
In Friday’s AFR, Michael Smith noted (paywall) that “while there is no shortage of international travellers due to the rising middle classes in countries like China, the debate now is focused on what Australia can do to attract a bigger slice of the pie. Chinese tourism numbers are booming but the growth is greater in other parts of the world such as Europe.”
So, what can Australia do to attract a bigger slice of this pie? Well, more direct flight routes are obviously the first step, and in this regard, Tourism Australia and state governments have been doing a great job. Last week, Virgin Australia launched direct flights into Hong Kong, and CEO John Borghetti wants direct flights to China for Australia’s number two airline by next year. Meanwhile, Cairns is forecast to receive an additional 33,000 Chinese tourists every year following China Southern Airlines’s decision to fly direct to Far North Queensland three times a week, starting in December.
For more practical advice on how to attract Chinese tourists, read my recent interview with SIteMinder. And please, send me any questions you might have.
Finally, media research group Kantar has released its annual Chinese Social Media Report. For a summary of the report, check out this post by Jing Daily. Alternatively, click here to read the whole report. The key take-away is that WeChat and Weibo are no longer enough to serve your marketing agenda. A range of other platforms have become way too important to be ignored, which differ depending on your target Chinese audience.
For more information on how to attract Chinese tourists in greater numbers, get in touch for a free consultation.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
Australia and New Zealand focus:
- First Virgin Australia flight lands in HK: Virgin Australia’s first flight to Hong Kong has landed – the first step in the airline’s push into the Chinese market. The new route is part of the company’s expansion plans and will attempt to break Qantas and Cathay Pacific’s stranglehold. Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines will commence 3-times a week flights from Guangzhou to Cairns from December this year. The service will bring around 33,000 Chinese visitors to the region just in its first year.
- China’s love of wine drives thirst for knowledge (paywall): The speed with which China has become Australia’s largest wine market (by value) is extraordinary. In calendar 2000 China imported $1.34 million of our wine; by 2016 it reached $520m, with year-on-year growth of 41%. France is China’s leading supplier, with 44% of the market, but Australia is catching up, in second place with 25% and growing at a faster rate.
- Australia braces for new tourism boom as flights surge: With Virgin Australia launching direct flights into Hong Kong last week, and CEO John Borghetti declaring that he wants direct flights to China by next year, this is an exciting time for Australia’s tourism industry. But there remains much to be done, a sentiment echoed by Star Entertainment Group chairman John O’Neill, who says that we should not take our high level of Chinese tourism for granted (paywall).
- Chinese Social Media in 2017 – What You Need to Know: Market research company Kantar Group has released its annual China Social Media Impact Report, which shows that the social media landscape is not all about WeChat and Weibo anymore. Jing Daily has prepared a great summary on the report – the full version is available here.
- Beginner’s Guide to B2B Marketing in the China Outbound Travel Industry: An effective Chinese outbound travel marketing strategy requires not only targeting Chinese travelers directly, but also cooperating with the Chinese travel industry. Attending trade fairs in China is an important step in developing your network of Chinese travel agents, and Dragon Trail has a guide on all the fairs here.
- Chinese Travelers Turn to Messaging Apps To Make Payments: The Chinese outbound market is booming yet travelers still find low acceptance of their typical payment methods. As travel becomes more accessible to the Chinese lower and middle class offering payment methods such as AliPay and WeChat Pay will be a definitive competitive advantage. And this competitive advantage is now even easier to achieve, with WeChat Pay launching an open platform for overseas merchants last week.