With more than 100 million Chinese nationals traveling internationally in the previous year, there is enormous potential for Australia to grow its market share. It is therefore not surprising that the Australian Government has introduced a three-year, multiple-entry tourist visa for Chinese visitors. This is just another step in offering Chinese visitors an ease of access, and follows extensions to the business visas and agreements to expand air service capacity to Australia 300% over the next 18 months to 67,000 seats per week from China.
China overtook the UK as Australia’s largest source of visitor visas in 2014. There were over 600,000 visa finalisations, up 21.1% from the previous year.
So with the rapid growth in Chinese travelers to Australia, it would be logical to expect to see a relationship to the growth of marketing spend targeting Chinese travelers. However, in the most part Australian businesses have yet to understand that this rapid shift also requires changes to their marketing practices. No longer are traditional, English language marketing campaigns good enough. The Chinese traveler by most measures is a sophisticated traveler that increasingly is coming to Australia as an independent traveler (FIT) and is buying luxury brands, trying Australian produce and looking for unique, mostly capital city based experiences.
So the opportunity for the Australian business community servicing these Chinese traveler needs is to leverage Chinese language (digital) marketing programs that can develop awareness of their products and services. The organisations that represent the various touch points in the tourism ecosystem need to be thinking about how they can participate and engage, as without an active marketing program they face being marginalised by others who have already understood that we face a changing world. It is remarkable that many tourism related organisations still don’t have a Chinese language website (or ones not translated by Google), and how many don’t have a Chinese Weibo or WeChat account.
Digital Jungle conducted a survey in 2014 with a range of tourism organisations to gain deeper insights on their preparation for Chinese travelers and a staggering 70% of respondents stated that they have yet to make Chinese specific marketing programs. Clearly, an issue given the growth and direction Chinese visitors coming to Australia.
If you need to review your Chinese digital marketing strategy and program then reach out to Digital Jungle.