Weekly Round-Up (21 November)

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

Last week, Destination NSW announced that it had signed a deal with Alibaba’s travel platform, Alitrip, to attract more visitors from China to Sydney and Regional NSW. Under the arrangement, NSW hotels, tourism operators, attractions and airline partners will enjoy even greater exposure on one of China’s largest OTAs.

Although Alitrip’s market share is still much smaller than the two largest OTAs in China, Ctrip and Qunar, it is catching up quickly. Last year, Alitrip had only an 8.4% share of China’s online travel market. In a growing market, Alitrip increased its share to 14.8% by the first quarter of 2016. Alitrip recently re-branded as Fliggy, a move designed to help the OTA focus on young, millennial travellers. I believe this strategy will help it catch up to Ctrip and Qunar, given millennials are the fastest growing segment of Chinese travellers. Additionally, the Alibaba connection means that Alitrip easily integrates with Alipay, which is the most trusted and popular form of online payment in China.

china-online-travel-market-q1-2016-jing-alitrip
China’s online travel market in Q1 2016. (Data from Analysys China via China Internet Watch)

The announcement also notes that promoting regional tourism will be a focus of the partnership. This is great news. I’ve said it before, for Chinese tourism to Australia to continue on its current growth trajectory, regional destinations will need to step up. Hotels in our major capital cities are already at record occupancy levels, and we are only just seeing the tip of the iceberg of Chinese tourist numbers.

The final article in today’s Round-Up contains some great practical tips for tourism players that want to focus on the Chinese market. For more tips and advice, get in touch with us for a free consultation. We’ll help you put together a customised strategy to attract more Chinese guests for the upcoming summer holidays – it’s not too late to make some changes to give your Chinese customers an amazing stay!

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

Australian focus:

  • Destination NSW and Alitrip to push regional NSW: Destination NSW and online Chinese travel platform Alitrip have forged a new alliance to attract more visitors from China to Sydney and regional NSW. Alitrip is one of the largest OTAs in China with more than 200 million registered users.
  • New major direct China-Australia flights start: In the last few weeks, several new direct flight routes between China and Australia have commenced operations. Air China is now flying direct from Chengdu to Sydney 3 times a week, and Hainan Airlines has started twice-weekly direct flights between Xi’an and Melbourne. Sydney has also recently welcomed a new China Eastern Airlines service from Hangzhou.
  • Business events accolades for Australia in China: Tourism Australia has now won seven business events awards in Greater China in 2016. Last week, TA was announced as ‘Best Long Haul Destination for Incentive Travel’ and ‘Best Destination for promoting BT-MICE in China’ at the Best Travel Awards.
  • Chinese tourists venture off beaten track: Destinations outside Sydney and Melbourne are attracting a new breed of adventurous Chinese visitor willing to explore regional areas, according to Choice Hotels. The New York-listed Choice group covers 230 hotels in Australia, with many in regional or rural towns. It recently signed a deal with Ctrip to run marketing specials on the OTA’s platform.

International focus:

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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