Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Using Chinese social media such as WeChat is a great way for Australian businesses to reach the Chinese tourist, through the “ripple effect” that occurs when a customer’s posts influence their friends and family. That’s what Christine Holgate, CEO of Blackmores, said at last week’s Future Asia Business Summit here in Sydney. Isn’t it refreshing when the boss of one of Australia’s most successful companies in China says what you’ve been saying for ages? (eg here and here)
Also speaking at the Summit was Maggie Zhou, Managing Director for Alibaba in Australia and New Zealand. She noted that Alibaba’s travel website, Fliggy, now allows Australian restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses to upload their details to the platform.
Meanwhile, developers have once again bemoaned the red tape restricting the development of hotels at a time of rapidly growing demand. It is worth noting that there are apparently 120 hotel projects in the pipeline in Australia at the moment, however there is clearly demand for more. Particularly for destinations such as the Gold Coast, which was announced last week as the most popular western city for Chinese tourists. Now to get those Chinese tourists visiting more than just the GC, Melbourne and Sydney!
If you’re a tourism business (or you know one) that wants to implement Christine Holgate’s advice and start creating some ripples through Chinese social media, tell them to get in touch with us for a free consultation!
We hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
Australia and New Zealand focus:
- Red tape, costs give hotel developers the holiday blues (paywall): A delegation of Australian airport and tourism bosses visited China last week to encourage three of the country’s biggest airlines to open up more routes to Australian capital cities and regional areas. One of the biggest hurdles will be convincing the airlines there is the appropriate infrastructure in Australia to handle an influx of discerning Chinese tourists. See also Australian tourism delegation heads to China
- Survey of 3.76 million Chinese tourists names the Gold Coast the popular western city: The Gold Coast has been named China’s favourite western city and the fourth most popular destination in the world in a Ctrip poll of more than 3.6 million tourists. The top three destinations were Phuket, Seoul and Bangkok. The second-highest placed Australian city was Sydney, coming in at 18.
- Casino Operator Crown Puts Big China Play on Hold (paywall): Crown Resorts Ltd. is dialing back efforts to attract Chinese high-rollers to its Australian casinos, as Beijing’s graft crackdown and the recent arrests of Crown employees in China cast a shadow over the industry.
- Chinese tourism bad news for Bali as per capita spending suffers (paywall): Mainland Chinese tourists are set to overtake Australians as Bali’s No 1 inbound foreign market while the holiday island’s hotel prices, occupancies and real estate values decline. On average Chinese tourists to Bali spend about a quarter of what European or Australian tourists spend. Previously these tourists would have gone to destinations such as Thailand, which has recently cracked down on “zero-dollar” Chinese tour groups.
- China’s Ctrip Will Focus on Domestic Hotels Following International Spending Spree: 2017 is set to be a year for domestic consolidation, following Ctrip’s international forays in 2016. CEO Jane Sun has said Ctrip’s top priority in 2017 is to focus on “second-tier cities” in China. Ctrip is also innovating with dynamic tour groups and themed package tours such as skiing, studying, and medical tourism.