Weekly Round-Up (13 June 2016)

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Round-Up, highlighting all the exciting news happening in the Chinese outbound tourism space, both within Australia and abroad. This week – another Chinese shareholder in Virgin Australia emerges to take Air NZ’s 20% stake, travel stories from the Northern Territory and New South Wales to be beamed into Chinese households, and China’s online travel market continues to grow rapidly. Let’s get into it!

Australian articles:

  • China’s Nanshan buys 20% Virgin Australia stake: The Chinese group Nanshan has bought a 20% stake in Virgin Australia from Air New Zealand. It is the second Chinese firm after the HNA Group to invest in the Australian carrier. HNA bought a 13% stake in Virgin last month, and plans to increase their holding to 20% in the near future – meaning that Virgin Australia will be 40% owned by Chinese firms, which would put the carrier in a good position to benefit from the growing numbers of Chinese tourists to Australia. Nanshan is a privately owned Chinese conglomerate with interests in aluminium and property as well as its own Qingdao Airlines (BBC News)
  • ‘Catch the Sunset’ documentary set to showcase Northern Territory to millions in China: A new documentary showcasing Northern Territory tourism hot spots and attractions and starring popular Chinese actress, model and television presenter Lily Ji will be broadcast to a Chinese audience of well in excess of 1 million Chinese television viewers per night, for a total of 12 nights. The Northern Territory received approximately 13,000 visitors from greater China last calendar year, but has set the target of attracting 30,000 Chinese visitors by 2020. (NT Press Release)
  • China Sunshine Awakens Sleepy Aussie Island in Election Race: Interesting article on how the China tourist boom is affecting Tasmania’s economy. Chinese tourist numbers are up 15% over the past year – the most of any state – and the economy is growing at the fastest rate in six years. Meanwhile, Tasmanian-branded exports to China, including salmon, apples, cherries and education, have soared 37% since the November 2014 visit by Xi Jinping. (Bloomberg)
  • Sydney welcomes Trends Traveler China: The bright lights of Vivid Sydney and unspoilt coastline of the NSW South Coast will be showcased to 20 million viewers across North Asia, as top rating Chinese travel show Trends Traveler arrives in Sydney on Saturday 11 June 2016 to commence filming two episodes of the program. (Destination NSW Press Release)
  • Boom in Chinese tourism on Gold Coast sparks Virgin airline alliance: The Gold Coast Airport is doubling down on efforts to increase the number of direct flight options with China, with officials from the airport currently in China speaking to a number of airlines about new potential routes. Gold Coast Airport offers direct flights to Wuhan and Hong Kong. (Gold Coast Bulletin)

International articles:

  • Strong growth in value of transactions in China’s online travel market: The value of transactions made via China’s online travel market reached 155.71 billion yuan (A$32 billion) in the first quarter of 2016, up 58.9% on the first quarter of 2015 and an increase of 14.7% on the previous quarter. Ctrip and Qunar led the online travel market with 35.6% and 30.2% market share in Q1 2016 respectively, followed by Alitrip (14.8%). (China Internet Watch)
  • Chinese travelers losing appetite for luxury products: China’s affluent travelers, the world’s biggest force in global luxury spending, have discovered a preference for having a bite of local cuisine rather than snapping up the likes of Chanel bags and Rolex watches, according to a report released at the 10th International Luxury Travel Market exhibition. Japanese cuisine, followed by shopping in France and viewing Australian landscapes, topped the favorites of the Chinese super-rich. (China Daily)

Quick Stats:

  • 74% of Chinese consumers say that travel helps them connect better with their family (link)
  • 45% of international trips made by Chinese were taken with family in 2015, compared with 39% in 2012 (link)
  • The number of Chinese children traveling abroad surged by 82% in the first quarter of 2016, reflecting the belief among post-70s and post-80s generation parents that international travel is an important form of education for children (link)

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