Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Get excited – 2017 is ramping up to be a big one for the Australian tourism industry. Speaking at a tourism summit in Canberra last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he and China President Xi Jinping had agreed to make 2017 the “Australia-China Year of Tourism”.
What exactly does this mean? Well, most importantly it means that the long-heralded 10-year visas for Chinese visitors will commence operation from next month. This will bring Australia into line with competitors including the United States, Canada, Israel, South Korea and Singapore. We’re a little late to the party (the US has had 10-year visas available for Chinese since November 2014), but it’s better late than never! And although there are some grumbles online from Chinese who consider the visas too expensive (A$1000) or the period of visitation too short (90 days at a time), this is still a great development for the Australian tourism industry.
This is because ease of visa applications is the fourth most important consideration for Chinese travelers. And what is easier than travelling to a country that you already have a 10-year visa for?
An important flow-on effect of the new visas will be a rise in the number of repeat visitors, who already make up 46% of Chinese visitors to Australia. They want to see more of what Australia has to offer – are you ready to welcome them?
To find out how you can attract more of these repeat, “free and independent” Chinese tourists get in touch with us for a free consultation.
We hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
- Australia begins granting 10-year visas to Chinese visitors: Under the Migration Legislation Amendment inked on November 10, Chinese citizens with 10-year Australian visas will be able to enjoy multiple free entry permits during the period.
- Chinese tourists helping Australia hit lofty tourism targets, Australian PM: Malcolm Turnbull has hailed the contribution Chinese tourists are playing in helping Australia hit its 2020 tourism targets. At a forum in Canberra last week, he noted that Chinese tourism is having an important flow-on role in boosting the economy through trade and exports.
- China’s Songcheng wants to build a Gold Coast theme park (paywall): A Chinese entertainment company plans to invest nearly $400 million in a Gold Coast theme park, to capitalise on the boom in Chinese tourists. The park is set to be called “Australian Legendary Kingdom” and will feature an “Aboriginal Cultural Village”, the “Mysterious Orient”, and a stage show called “Wild Australia”.
- Tencent launches advertising service for Singapore companies to attract Chinese tourists: Chinese travelers “know before they even arrive in the country which shops they will visit and what they will get, so brands need to engage early in the Chinese customer journey in order to influence purchase decisions.”
- Thailand Tourism in Shambles After Tour Crackdown: Thailand is facing a “perfect storm” as far as Chinese tourism is concerned in the latter half of 2016 – with a crackdown on “zero-dollar” tours, and the Thai king’s unfortunate passing that led to a government-declared 30-day period of mourning.
- Ctrip to Acquire Skyscanner for $1.74 Billion: Ctrip is set to become more of a global player following its acquisition of flight-metasearch engine Skyscanner. Ctrip believes travel will become a much larger share of the Chinese economy as it has so much room to grow – flights per capita are one-tenth that of the US.