Monday, March 12, 2012

Australian tourism targets China's second cities

SYDNEY: Australia on Monday said it plans to tap into China's fast-growing second tier cities to boost tourism revenue after research found Chinese travellers increasingly favour Down Under as a destination.

China, also a key trade partner, is already Australia's fastest growing and most valuable international tourism market, worth more than A$3.8 billion (US$4 billion) in 2011, up 15 percent on the previous calendar year.

Tourism chiefs see huge potential to build on the 558,600 Chinese who visited Australia in the 12 months to January 31, 2012.

Currently their focus is on the big three centres of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but growing middle and upper classes outside these places sparked research into the tourism behaviour of consumers living in secondary cities.

It found the place many people wanted to visit was Australia.

"We plan to use these findings to help prioritise our marketing activities in China," Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said.

"Tourism Australia will make a further record investment in marketing resources in China in 2012, for the market is unprecedented in terms of its high growth and high value."

The research covered Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xiamen - many of which boast bigger populations than global cities such as New York.

McEvoy said long-term success in a highly competitive China depended on a greater understanding of the many millions of customers who live outside of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and what drives their travel decisions.

"That's where the real China growth opportunities lie," he said.

The findings showed Australia was seen as a highly regarded destination among many of the more wealthy Chinese.

Respondents indicated a strong desire to see the country's most famous attractions, with the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos and koalas all high on the list.

Conducted in late 2011, the findings were based on a targeted sample of almost 2,800 Chinese leisure travellers, aged between 30 and 49 years of age with an above average annual household income of more than US$25,000.

View the original article here

Source From Chnnel News Asia

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