Independent Chinese travellers hold the key to Australia’s tourism market

By Peter Cai

O’Sullivan says a big shift away from lower yielding group travel to more free and independent travel is an important trend and to capture this lucrative market Tourism Australia is enlisting the help of an elite network of 31 specialist travel agencies to promote Australia in key Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and tier two cities such as Nanjing. “The vast majority of international travel out of China is still booked through travel agencies, and under this program we believe we’ve identified the best of the best,” he says.

Using social media is also a key element of Tourism Australia’s marketing strategy globally and especially in China. “In recent years, our whole marketing has been built very strongly around social media,” he says. “The overarching reason has been that we know the power of advocacy and particularly in a market like China. “Advocacy is in many ways as important as paid advertising because we know Chinese tourists take words of mouth and referrals from people who they know as being a key driver of choice and influence.

The new focus is on free and independent travellers in the aftermath of new Chinese tourism law. “We knew that as a part of anti-corruption crackdown in China that the government would introduce the new law,” he says. “Traditionally the Chinese tourism market had been built in Australia around tour groups.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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