Weekly Round-Up (18 April 2017)

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

I hope you all had a great Easter break – I was too busy eating chocolate yesterday to get this Round-Up out, so apologies to anyone who was expecting it. The last week saw some very interesting stories on China and Chinese tourism, so let’s get into it!

First off, this post “Predicting the 2016 Census” by Thang Ngo, Managing Director of IDENTITY Communications is worth a read. The post contains the results of some impressive forecasting, the key take-away being that there are over 1 million people who speak a Chinese language in Australia. Mandarin is spoken by approximately 600,000 Australians to make it the most spoken language in Australia after English. Mandarin speaker numbers have grown a staggering 73% since the last census in 2011. Cantonese is the second most widely spoken language with approximately 400,000 speakers. For some other amazing statistics from the forecast, see the graphic below.

chinese community in australia census

What does this mean for your tourism business? It means that many of your potential customers or influencers are already here! But how can you reach out to these one million Chinese speakers, many of whom are more comfortable researching, planning and booking their holidays in Chinese? Simple – be active online on the places where they are looking. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Instagram, TripAdvisor, Snapchat or Facebook. No, there’s one place in particular that you need to have a presence if you have any hope of increasing your Chinese bookings. And that place is WeChat.

You may have missed this, but WeChat’s parent company Tencent became the 10th most valuable listed company in the world (paywall) last week, as its market capitalisation climbed through $US279 billion ($372 billion). I’ve written about WeChat before (see here and here) so I won’t go into any detail today, other than to mention that the app now has a massive 889 million monthly active users. For an in-depth look at how WeChat got to this figure in less than 6 years, have a read of this article.

A whole range of tourism businesses are now using WeChat to grow their Chinese bookings. Just as I was finishing this post I read that you can now book private jets via WeChat. So the sky really is the limit (terrible pun, I’m so sorry). In Australia, there is one WeChat account with over 380,000 followers in Sydney alone, and advertising on these accounts isn’t even that expensive!

Want to find out more? Get in touch with us for a free consultation today to see how we can help you tap into the one million Chinese speakers in Australia.

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

Australia and New Zealand focus:

  • The winners and losers of the Chinese tourism boom: As flag-waving Chinese tour groups make way for free and independent travellers looking for unique experiences, tour operators will need to change their way of thinking. Professor Noel Scott, deputy director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism has noted that new visitors are more adventurous and “looking for authentically Australian experiences but it’s softer activity rather than vigorous.”
  • Campervan craze: Chinese tourists hit the road to explore Australia: Growth in Chinese visitors choosing to caravan or camp grew by an average of 22% a year between 2013 and 2016, according to Tourism Research Australia. Caravan park companies such as Big 4 are learning to deal with these new customers, who often may not speak that much English or understand Australian camping culture.
  • Predicting the 2016 Census: Here are three key statistics from this post. 1. Over 1 million people in Australia speak Chinese. 2. Mandarin and Cantonese are the top 2 languages, other than English spoken in Australia. 3. There are over 100,000 Chinese international students here, contributing $5.4 billion to the economy.

International focus:

  • China retains top spot as world’s big spender on overseas tourism: Chinese tourists again spent more overseas than travellers from any other country last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, despite the nation’s weakening currency and slowing growth.
  • Make America Friendly Again, Advises CEO of CtripChinese consumers always pick the place that is friendly to them, according to Ctrip CEO Jane Sun. Her comments come in the wake of the United Airlines debacle, which angered many Chinese who saw the manhandling of the passenger as racially motivated.
  • VistaJet Now Lets Clients Book Private Jets on WeChat: VistaJet is now the first international private jet operator that lets clients book flights on WeChat. The company hopes the new service will see more affluent Chinese choosing to charter a private jet instantaneously rather than own or rent one.

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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