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|Tourism Australia urges business to get “China ready”|
Being 'China ready' is critical to Australia’s tourism industry if it is to fully leverage Australia's destination appeal amongst China's new urban elite, says Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy.
Mr McEvoy made the comments as Tourism Australia enters the second year of its 10-year strategy to grow demand from its fastest growing overseas market – China.
"The fact that 542,000 Chinese travellers visited our country last year is fantastic, but certainly no reason to feel the job is done. If we're not fully prepared, the Asian Century will pass us by,” Mr McEvoy said.
Mr McEvoy said China’s growing importance was at the heart of Tourism Australia’s decision to unveil the latest phase of its There’s nothing like Australia global marketing campaign in Shanghai earlier this month.
But he said increasing numbers of visitors from China was neither “inevitable nor guaranteed.”
"China is now our fastest growing and the most valuable overseas tourism market, delivering more than half a million-plus visitors and A$3.8 billion in spending in 2011,” Mr McEvoy said.
He said reaping the benefits of the ‘Asian Century’ required more than just additional resources and good marketing campaigns.
“We know from our research that our global campaign resonates extremely well in China but, whilst this is great, it's only part of the equation. You can build all the demand you want through compelling ads, but if the actual experience fails to deliver on the promise, you end up doing more harm than good.”
Mr McEvoy cited the Accor hotel group’s steps to make Chinese visitors feel more at home including more Chinese dishes on menus, Chinese newspapers, television channels, electrical adaptors and welcome kits in Mandarin. Accor has already initiated special training for Accor staff in cultural differences, enabling them to better serve Chinese people.
Facts and Figures
The China 2020 Strategic Plan is a core element in the Government's Tourism 2020 strategy, aimed at doubling overnight visitor expenditure to up to A$140 billion by 2020.
China is Australia's fastest growing and the most valuable overseas tourism market, delivering more than half a million-plus visitors and A$3.8 billion in spending in 2011.
The China market has the potential to be worth up to A$9 billion alone by the end of the decade. ■