Australian tourism buoyed by Chinese visitors
Chinese visitors continue to lead the way in the recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
According to the bureau, visits from China were up 26.5 percent from the same period last year.
The 43,000 Chinese in September were not the only Asian market to have increased. Singapore and Hong Kong visitors were both up 14.5 percent and Malaysian visitors increased 11.4 percent.
According to the former Australian ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby, Australia had a reputation with the Chinese as clean and safe but they wanted more things to spend their money on as they were traditionally big spenders.
The growth in Asian tourism now means more than half all tourists now come from Asia, although figures from the USA were also up and New Zealand and the UK still lead China in overall numbers.
In recent months the Australian government has made it easier for Chinese to get tourist visas and applications will be available online in 2013.
From news.com.au (Geoff Dixon is Tourism Australia chairman):
”We cannot afford to rest on past glories or the historic view of our country,” he said.
But he said Australian tourism was on its way up, with our Asian neighbours providing a “once in a generation” opportunity for the industry.
By the late 2030s two thirds of the world’s middle class will be in Asia.
“Everything about China is staggering – that’s why we have gone very, very aggressively after this market,” Mr Dixon said.
Individual tourism bodies are also now catering specifically for Chinese tourists. The Tourism WA website for instance, has a page about “expectations of Chinese visitors” and list kettles, Chinese tea sachets, disposable slippers and even chopsticks as essential to hotel services.
Tourism Australia has also developed a strategy towards improving Chinese tourism to Australia. One in four marketing dollars are now primed at pushing Australia to the Chinese and a network of 5000 Aussie specialist travel agents will be established in 13 Chinese cities.
According to an article in China Connections, Sydney is the top destination for Chinese visitors to Australia, particularly the two week Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.
The City of Sydney, which leads the way in its cultural engagement with Asia and China during this time of year, estimates around 150,000 visitors from China and Asia visited Sydney during this year’s Chinese New Year holiday period, in part drawn to the city’s lavish Chinese New Year Twilight Parade and fireworks. It was the City of Sydney’s 16th Chinese New Year Festival and 12th Twilight Parade.
This year’s Year of the Dragon-themed parade showcased nearly 3,000 performers – many of them, artistic troupes from China and other parts of Asia, 24 floats, light projections and a fireworks display.
An estimated 100,000 people lined Sydney’s streets to witness this year’s parade on January 29, making it the city’s biggest to date.
Sydney is followed by Melbourne and then Brisbane for visitor numbers. The article also says the Grampians in Victoria and Cairns / Great Barrier Reef are also targeting the Chinese market and focusing on the Chinese love of the natural environment and Aussie lifestyle.
If you are a Chinese visitor to Australia, please write in with the things you like about Australia, or would like to see when visiting Australia.