Welcome to this week’s China Ready Now Round-Up.
Australia is slipping in the race for the Chinese tourist dollar, according to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Provactively titled “Holiday in Australia? Chinese tourists would rather go to Russia“, the article notes that for Chinese package tourists, Australia is the 17th most popular destination, behind Switzerland, Germany and Russia. A lack of quality hotels being built since the “Crocodile Dundee” days of the late 1980s and early 1990s meant that accommodation options are not up to scratch by Chinese standards.
“Five-star hotels look too old, service is not so good and prices are high for what you get,” says Kevin Xu, the general manager of Grand City Tours – one of Australia’s largest Chinese travel agents. Matt Bekier, chief executive officer of casino and hotel group Star Entertainment Group, notes that Australia could do a lot more. “If you look at Australia’s market share in the flow of Chinese tourists, we’re losing market share. There are more going to Switzerland, which is harder to get to and more expensive. Capacity is a big deal. Where do they go? We don’t have the hotel rooms. There’s just not enough capacity here.”
The fact that some of China’s biggest companies, such as Dalian Wanda, HNA Group and Anbang Insurance are now investing heavily in Australia’s tourism infrastructure, indicates that the hype about Chinese tourism growth is warranted. For local players keen to capitalise on this growth, we’re here to help. To find out how, get in touch with us for a free consultation.
We hope you enjoy this week’s Round-Up.
- Holiday in Australia? Chinese tourists would rather go to Russia: Although poorly titled (Russia shares a border with China, so is always going to get more Chinese visitors than Australia), this article does contain several hard-hitting truths about our local tourism industry’s lack of readiness for China.
- Tourism WA on prowl to woo China: WA has set itself the ambitious target of doubling the value of Chinese tourism within four years. This will require visitor numbers to increase by 20% each year. About 47,000 Chinese people visited WA in 2015-16, or just 4.5% of Chinese visitors. Chinese apparently love WA’s pink lakes near Esperance and Port Gregory for the magnificent photo opportunities.
- Crown Resorts’ VIP Ambitions Clouded by Crackdown in China (paywall): Following on from last week’s articles, this story by the Wall Street Journal examines Crown’s efforts to attract Chinese high rollers and suggests that it could prove a losing bet as Beijing seeks to root out corruption.
- Chinese tourists soaking up sights and wine boost SeaLink cruises (paywall): A sharp increase in the number of wealthy Chinese tourists paying $395 each for a high-end cruise on Sydney Harbour complete with a bottle of Penfolds Grange for the table is bolstering profit growth at SeaLink Group.
- China’s HNA Group to buy 25pc of Hilton (paywall): Chinese conglomerate HNA Group said Monday it plans to buy a roughly 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings from Blackstone Group LP for $US6.5 billion, the latest move into American real-estate assets by a Chinese firm.
- Goodbye tour buses and loud hailers: Chinese tourists are now choosing the more personal approach, according to a new report from Citi. 90% opt to travel independently for domestic trips, with outbound tourism by elderly Chinese growing by huge 217%.
- Chinese visitors help make New Zealand tourism its top overseas earner, overtaking dairy: According to figures released Wednesday, tourism has overtaken dairy as the nation’s top earner of overseas dollars. The number of Chinese was up by 82,300 to 377,800 for the year ending September.