In general, Australia has a lot to offer from big city buzz of Sydney, wide open spaces, coastal, landscapes and heritage of NSW and food and wine trails, its Aboriginal culture not to mention all kinds of people. By looking at the international visitor graph (Appendix 1), it is clear that New Zealand holds the highest number of outbound travelers, followed by China, USA, UK, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, India, HK, Germany, Indonesia, Canada and France. In total, there were 8.4million international visitors as per March 2017 and an increase of 9% from the year 2016 (Tourism Australia, 2017). In the data compiled by Tourism Australia “International Tourism Snapshot”, it is shown that a country with higher number of outbound travelers does not necessarily spend as much as a country who has less number of outbound travelers. For instance, take China and New Zealand, New Zealand’s total spend was $2.7bn with 1,353,700 outbound travelers. On the other hand, China’s total spend was $9.7bn with 1,227,900 outbound travelers.
The aim of this report is to analyze what is fuelling the growth of Chinese visitors in Australia and the impacts for the tourism and hospitality sectors. At the end of the report
Information are gathered from wide range of secondary data, ranging from articles, journals, Australian tourism websites, industry documents and videos from both academic and non academic websites.
This report will explain and demonstrate what causes the outbound growth of Chinese visitors, their wants and motivations to visit Australia as well as the strategies that tourism Australia has taken to attract more Chinese visitors. To make a contrast, this report will briefly explain the potential issues that may occur to the large number of Chinese visitors to Australia.
1.1 Chinese Visitors in Australia
The growth of outbound Chinese travelers is a relatively recent phenomenon as Chinese have become the fastest-growing travel market in the world in a very short period of time. According to CEO of Shangri-La Hotels in Hong-Kong, China is a ‘Sleeping giant’, meaning they are the biggest potential market in the hospitality and tourism industry (Angelini, 2012). The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) has predicted that the number of Chinese outbound tourists increased from 117 million in 2015 to 122 million in 2016, showing a rise of 4.3%. Chinese travelers’ expenditure for oversea trips amounted to $109.8 billion. Thus, the hospitality and tourism industry cannot afford to overlook this lucrative market. In fact, Australia is one of the countries most affected by the Chinese outbound travelers. Even though Australia takes only a small portion of the total travelers, China is still the second largest visitor market for Australia. This market is valuable with annual spending of $5 billion a year, which is expected to reach more than $13 billion by end of the decade (Freed, 2015). Australia has expanded accommodation by nearly 50%, including hotels and motels from 4,100 to 6,100 since the Chinese visitors boom in Australia (Breakey, Ding & Lee, 2008). Chinese visitors who contribute to these increase mostly come from the three main cities of China: Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong (Tourism Australia, 2017). Approximately 50% of Chinese tourists have travelled to Australia using Chinese airlines which are dominated in non-stop seat capacity by China Southern, which takes up over 40% of the market, and China Eastern and Air China with each take up roughly 20% in 2016 (CAPA, 2016).
1.2 What is fueling this extraordinary outbound tourism?
Chinese outbound tourism has grown rapidly since Chinese economy has developed, as well as the Chinese government easing outbound tourism restrictions. China has experienced an extraordinary economic growth over the past decade with GDP per capita that outperforming along with other potential emerging markets. This Chinese economy increase has resulted in an expanding upper middle class as average income has risen, and it has led to outbound travel becoming financially accessible to a larger portion of people. This development of the Chinese income in addition to time and a desire to experience the world outside has led to some Chinese citizens spending their money on cultural aspects of life, including outbound travel (Pan, 2003). Based on the research of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Chinese income and consumption patterns have changed as the average household income has reached $20,000, meaning that Chinese households can afford leisure trips. Moreover, as the upper middle class has expanded, the education level of the Millennials, who are viewed as the key market, has increased (Xiaoying & Abbott, 2006). Not only did approximately 236,000 Chinese outbound students account for 29% of the total international students worldwide, but they also mainly enrolled in the higher education courses in Australia (Huybers & Gong, 2015). This contributed the most to Australia’s education export sector with 13% in 2016 which is a higher percentage of travelers than those who travel for business purposes.
In the early stage of Chinese outbound tourism advances, independent trips abroad for leisure purpose were tightly controlled whereas government officials and professionals were encouraged to travel overseas, to develop their ability and knowledge by participating in more cultural and economic activities (Wang & Davidson, 2009). However, there has been a phenomenal growth of Chinese tourists visiting Australia over 40 years, from just 500 Chinese visitors in 1976 to 1.2 million in 2016 (China daily, 2017). This increase has been constantly improved since 1999 when Australia was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) which determines which destinations Chinese citizen are able to travel to for leisure purposes. The ADS provided Australia with tourists from the three main cities of China which were Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, followed by the entirety of China’s provinces in (Wang & Davidson, 2009). In addition, Chinese outbound tourists can also exchange foreign currency independently without using travel agencies, making is easier for them to travel.
In addition, Tourism Australia demonstrated a global marketing campaign with the phrase ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ which spread throughout the world in 2016 to attract global market but it focused on Chinese (Marketing, 2012). Tourism Australia has invested $250 million for this campaign and it was revealed through social media which drove three million fans to Tourism Australia’s Facebook page (Australasian Leisure, 2012). It was not only rolled out through international television advertisements, but also broadcast domestically to show popular Australia attractions such as Uluru, Freycinet in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The campaign had a particular focus on the Chinese market, with the advertisements being translated into Chinese languages so as to appeal directly to the target audience. An iPad application was designed so that users were enabled to book in destinations’ websites directly after exploring the attractions in the ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ advertisement (Australian Leisure, 2012).
Moreover, aviation plays a significant role in connecting Australia and China. McEvoy said (2012) that “Australia will focus on expanding the Chinese tourism market in close cooperation with the two countries airlines in accordance with increasing preference of Chinese tourists to Australia” (Marketing, 2012). According to ATC (1998), Australia was successfully able to negotiate with China for ADS as sufficient air service capacity on Australia and China route was ensured. The direct Australia and China seat capacity has expanded progressively by over 700 percent (Tourism Australia, 2006 June 19). Its development encouraged more travel for business purpose between the two countries, as well as having created additional holiday travel (Wang & Davidson, 2009). In 1995, business visitors occupied more than 40 percent of the total market whereas leisure purpose tourists accounted for less than a quarter of all arrivals from China. However, the rate of business travelers gradually decreased to 7 percent in 2016 while the leisure travelers portion expanded to 55 percent.
1.3 Potential Negative Impact of Chinese Travelers coming to Australia
Australia has all the products that appeal to the Chinese such as nature and wildlife, beaches, entertainment and not to mention it’s Aboriginal culture. The data from Tourism Australia ‘China Market Profile’ (2017) as shown on Appendix 5.1 and 5.2 shows that China holds the highest number of outbound visitors coming to Australia of 1,227,900 in May 2017 and in 2016 it had 1,199,000 arrivals. With the ever growing number of Chinese outbound visitors, there could be potential negative impacts such as social, environmental and economic impacts to Australia.
As the age group of travellers to Australia is mostly 45-59years (Tourism Australia, ‘China Consumer Profile’, 2017), there might be a language barrier while travelling to Australia compared to the millennials. Breakey, Ding, & Lee (2008) mention that the potential issue could be the high level of knowledge about Australia required from the guides or the different meaning of ‘authenticity’ or understanding what the Chinese really wants for their travelling experience. As the Chinese do not think in the same way as others, the output of what they expect will be different. Perhaps to lessen these issues, there could be a specialized Chinese team to accommodate the Chinese travelers in order to really understand what they want. From Tovar and Lockwood (2008) survey, it is reported that the highest negative impact of the high number of travelers from China is overcrowding, especially in public facilities such as parks.
The Chinese have different knowledge than other travelers in which it may impact their behavior and attitudes to wildlife experiences. Packer, Ballantyne, & Hughes (2014) discover that Chinese visitors are less likely to express their concern about right or wrong treatment to the animals and less likely to find beauty in wildlife and nature. Due to this, there might be potential issues of them treating the animals wrongly or even abusing them. In this regards, tourism operators need to take their behavior into consideration, especially when there are activities involving animals in the wild. Tovar & Lockwood (2008) also mention that tourism leads to the excessive litter or pollution or damage to natural areas.
Tovar & Lockwood (2008) survey shows that tourism leads to the increase of local prices of some goods and services as well as increase property values that made it difficult for the locals to live in the area. As business or investment holds 7% from the total Chinese visitors coming to Australia, they could be the highest drive of the increase in prices for the destination.
1.4 Wants & Motivation of Chinese Travelers
The most important part of the tourism industry is the consumer. It is because they are the reason tourism products and services exist. It must be ensured that all the consumer is taken into consideration first and foremost in all business and planning decisions.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy Pyramid, there are five types of human needs (Poston, 2009). Noting it down from the bottom to the top of pyramid, there are physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and self actualization. It can not be justified which type of needs tourism falls under as it is not ‘needs’ but ‘wants’. However, one of the human needs, safety, is an important aspect of the Chinese travelers. To put it simply, needs are goods or services that are required for everyday life, whereas wants are goods or services that are not necessary but are desired and wish for. In conjunction to that, Osmond, Chen, & Pearce (2014) mentioned that Chinese travelers expect the host destination to have a cultural understanding of their wants and needs. Moreover, because of the lack of previous travel experience, Chinese may be slightly reserved too and prefer group tours rather than independent, which makes safety an important destination attribute (Osmond et al., 2014).
Motivation, on the other hand, is the ultimate driving force (both extrinsic and intrinsic) that explains individual’s actions (Chen, Bao, & Huang, 2014). Ryan & Deci (2000) define intrinsic as a driving factor that comes within individuals. For example, in the tourism industry context, people travel because they feel the need to relax and get away from their everyday life. The authors define extrinsic motivation as an activity done in order to attain some separable outcome. For example, people want to travel to show their social status to others. Other motivations to visit include nature and wildlife, climate, beaches and iconic attractions (Osmond et al., 2014).
It is known that the growth of China’s economy, rising disposable incomes and urbanization has lead to a rapid increase in China’s outbound tourism (Sparks & Pan, 2009; Osmond, Chen, & Pearce, 2014; King & Gardiner 2013). Not surprisingly, Australia has marked Chinese travelers as an important emerging market in the tourism industry. The data of China Market Profile from Tourism Australia (2017) shows that the five key factors for travelling to Australia are safety and security (40%), world class nature (40%), good food and wine (35%), aquatic and coastal(35%) and lastly value for money(27%). Data from Tourism Australia (2017) shows that top three regions visited by the Chinese are Sydney (63%), Melbourne (51%), and Gold Coast 33%. In addition, Li & Carr (2004) states that as of now, Gold Coast is the most visited area in Australia. Its clean and beautiful beaches, safe location, amusement parks, shopping and nightlife drive the Chinese to travel to Gold Coast (Li & Carr, 2004). Holiday, education, business, and visiting friends and relatives are the motivations that drive Chinese travelers to Australia.
As consumption of experiences is important to a large numbers of Chinese, Australia has the potential to cater to this as it has a lot of unique and memorable experience in terms of wildlife and coastal. Being one of the closest country for the Chinese to experience Western culture adds up to their motivation to visit Australia. The mode of travel affects the type of consumer experience, for example, flying to a destination compared to driving (Destination NSW, n.a.).
The experience that Australia has to offer to the Chinese market is well justified. Cognitive, sensory, affective, social identity and aesthetic are the types of experience that Osmond et al. (2014) mentioned in their article. Firstly, cognitive experiences, where Chinese travelers wants to acquire new knowledge from the West and foreign destinations. Secondly, sensory experience where they want food to be a part of their experience, for example, trying local food. Getting close to nature and a good climate also falls under this type of experience. Thirdly, affective experience which simply means experiences that appeal to individual’s inner feelings, or as mentioned above, intrinsic motivation. Fourth, social identity which can refer to extrinsic motivation. The authors mentioned that Chinese travellers want to increase their prestige and self-image. In conjunction to this, Kwek and Lee (2013) mentioned that to impress others with their economic wealth, they prefer to purchase more expensive and exclusive product to bring back home for their relatives or friends rather than local products. The chief executive officer of Destination Melbourne, Chris Buckingham mentioned that Chinese visitors spend big on leisure activities and shopping at places such as the Collins Street fashion boutiques (Traveller, 2017, para. 8). However, Pan and Laws (2003) mentioned that shopping in Australia is a disappointing experience for them because tour operators will bring them to duty free shopping in every city they visited in Australia. The results from Jago et al. (2015) also shows that shopping is one of the key drivers of negative visitor experience in Australia. Lastly, aesthetic experience which involve viewing landscapes, sightseeing and visiting museums. Other experiences that they seek are physical experience and educational experiences.
For corporate travelers, they have less significant economic influence to Australia as their main purpose to travel is for work (Kwek & Lee, 2013). However, the author explains that it does not mean that they purely travel for business because once the work is completed, they might get involved in leisure activities.
As the barriers to travel have been lowered, it has been easier for young Chinese to pursue educational advancement overseas. King & Gardiner (2013) portrays Chinese international students as independent travelers in a way that they have been exhibiting independent behaviors in their young age. Chinese international students are considered as Chinese travelers because they travel independently around the destination during their study period. The author mentioned that the education industry in Australia has rivalled the tourism industry as a revenue generator. Youth travelers often travel as backpackers as they tend to travel alone to be more adventurous. For example, hiking at the Grampians as a motivation to visit Melbourne. With their risk taking behaviours, they often visit places that are off the track and explore destinations that are dissociated with mainstream tourists’ spots. Different from leisure group tours, backpackers tend to be more flexible and enjoying their time.
Australia, for example Melbourne, has an enormous mode of transportation like trams, buses and trains. For example, Melbourne’s public transport network extends from the city centre in all directions offering comprehensive public transport services. This is one way to attract backpackers because they tend to spend less for transportation meaning that they wouldn’t rent a private car but take the public transport instead. In conjuction to this, Destination NSW (n.a.) wrote that destination often suffers when the transport options are limited or below standard.
1.5 Case studies of how different sectors trying to cater to Chinese Travelers
Tailoring Specific products
With the rise of Chinese tourist visiting Australia, it is important for local private industry to cater the Chinese visitors needs as a part of rich clients. There are a wide-range of products development opportunities for any tourism and hospitality businesses in enhancing visitors experience, from product design, service distribution to having translated tourist information. Furthermore, different business categories such as accommodations, attractions or tour operators have considerations tailored specifically for Chinese market. According to Weiler and Yu (2008), Chinese visitors are looking for experiences that are memorable and emotionally connect with the locals. Thus, the aim for the different sectors are to facilitate the experiences of Chinese visitors which could result in increase in customer satisfaction and visitation.
According to Destination NSW (2015), Chinese group visitors originating from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing are expecting to stay in a famous hotel chains with a minimum of 4-star rating accommodations. Some high-end visitors came from these large cities demand an even superior luxury brand hotel. Therefore, international hotel chains in Australia has a need to meet these expectations of the market preferred services and facilities. As one of the famous international hotel chains, Accor’s hotel group is the first hotel group to introduced their accredited Chinese optimum service standards program in 2011 (Gee, 2011). It is a program for hotels to caters their rapidly growing China inbound market within Australia with the support of Australia China Business Council & the China National tourism Office. The accredited hotels offer Chinese travelers on various service and facilities including Chinese language staff, Chinese dishes, Chinese breakfast items, and Chinese television channels (Victoria hotel, 2017) (Shown in Appendix 3). They have Chinese speaking employees to help tourist in communication as well as Chinese language signs inside the premises. Additionally, an example shows in one of their hotels group which is the Marriott Hotel provides Chinese language magazine on their lobby (Shown in Picture 1). The Indulge magazine is known to provide the world of luxury and entertainment worldwide (Indulge Magazine, 2017). Thus the service is aimed to facilitate the customers in understanding and delivering information on the site and also recommendations of things to do within the area to gain the full experience. It also includes training on the cultural differences and handling groups. By providing the cultural awareness training for frontline employees could guarantee Chinese visitors are being served appropriately and leads to better guest experience (Destination NSW, 2015). This program is being used by over 50 hotels across Australia and will continue to develop to better satisfy the Chinese market (Allen, 2017). Another service that some Accor hotels offer is accepting China UnionPay payments for Chinese travelers for their convenience and reduces concerns on foreign payments. This is due to the fact that China UnionPay has over 99% of the bank card market with over 3 billion cards in China (TRA, 2014). Businesses that accommodate their target market needs have a competitive advantage over others and could enhance their overall satisfaction (Li & Carr, 2004).
Credit to Angela
On the other side, a range of attractions are a part of the Chinese visitor’s exploration plan. Different activities within Australia are available for outbound tourists to experience which includes sightseeing, swimming, or shopping. According to Tourism Western Australia (n/a), the majority of Chinese visitors are attracted to Australian history and culture. One of the site that offers recreational heritage attraction is known as Sovereign Hill. It is one of Australia’s main tourist attractions that portrays an authentic 1850s life on the goldfields township with dressed staff, entertainment, and underground mine tours to attract visitors. Additionally, with the history on Chinese miners that came to search gold in the area has been a drive for Chinese tour operators to include Sovereign Hill in their itinerary (Weiler and Yu, 2008). With the increasing amount of Chinese visitors, the business has improved their online presence by adding a Chinese language option on their website. This helps Chinese customers to coordinate themselves and gain information on the historical site. As well as employing up to 12 casuals Mandarin and Cantonese speaking tour guides to cater their need. Communication is achieved verbally as no navigational aids are available to keep the sense of authenticity. The tour guides provide the most factual presentation about the history of mining and the life of goldfields. The interaction and involvement through listening to local stories and looking at demonstrations by local people provide a meaningful and memorable experiences for the visitors (Moscardo et al., 2004; Ham, 2006).
Other activities that are appealing to the Chinese visitors are the Sydney harbor bridge climb. It is a man-made attraction located in the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. They have also provided a variety range of services for Chinese tourist such as 12 Chinese speaking tour guides as well as Multilanguage website. They also marketing through social media by partnering with large Chinese corporations and have them experience the activity. As Jago et al. (2015) stated that most Chinese visitors like taking pictures with the purpose of sharing the experience with their family and friends. Especially with an iconic site as the background, for instance, the Sydney Opera house, the opportunity of taking photos will enhance their overall satisfactory (Tourism Western Australia (n/a)). It is a type of product enhancement that could lead to customer satisfaction and word of mouth recommendations could lead to repeat visitation (Kozak & Rimmington, 2000). Additionally, in 2014, they also celebrated Chinese New year by having Dragon dance on the bridge (BridgeClimb Sydney, 2014).
Most of Australian tourism products providers, including accommodations, attractions, restaurants, and coaches rely on the Australian inbound tour operators to incorporate them into packages and then sold to Chinese agents. Thus, the success of delivering the right product to the right visitors depend on official Chinese travel agents and Australian inbound tour operators (Pan & Laws, 2003). Communication between the two organizations is important to ensure the quality meets the customer’s expectations. There are several Australian owned company that are specialized in the Asian market such as Travel World Australia tour operator. They are a member of Australia Tourism Export Council (ATEC) and has been an ADS-approved inbound tour operator. The ADS scheme enables Travel World Australia to guide and improve the the tourism quality experience on Chinese clients (Austrade ,2017). The industry has provided tools on cultural differences and how to incorporate appropriate accommodation, dining options, and Chinese language elements into the tour packages in catering to the Chinese visitors. Additionally, the company not only has an office in Sydney but also expand to major cities within China to better serve their growing middle class market such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Taipei (Travelworldaust, 2017).
1.6 2020 Strategies
Tourism 2020 is where Australia want in 2020 in terms of its tourism industry (Tourism.vic.gov.au, 2013). Tourism 2020 have specific goals to achieve every year, not only economic goal for Australia, but also the number of visitors. The whole government is working with the industry to achieve Australia tourism plan (“Tourism 2020 – Tourism Australia’s summary | Australian Voice for Tourism”, 2010). The whole government is focusing on six areas of strategies to enhance growth and competitiveness in tourism industry; the six areas of strategy are “grow demand from Asia, build competitive digital capability, encourage investment and implement regulatory reform agenda, ensure tourism transport environment supports growth, increase supply of labor, skills and indigenous participation, build industry resilience, productivity and quality” (“Tourism 2020 – Tourism Australia’s summary | Australian Voice For Tourism”, 2011).
Victoria 2020 Tourism Strategy Plan
Tourism 2020 is not only planning for the whole Australia, but, Tourism Australia also plan for each state in Australia. The main strategy to attract more Chinese visitors are not that much different with Tourism 2020 strategy. The main point is they need to grow stronger on building collaboration in government and region to ensure growth in visitation. The country which they are targeting on are China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia (Tourism Australia, 2013).
In Victoria 2020 Tourism Strategy Plan, one of the sections they highlight for Chinese section is International Marketing. In this section, they mention that they need to be strong on the international marketing especially at China; not only that, they also mention that they need more campaign in Chinese market as well as build Victoria’s strong education, migrant and business links by working across government and industry to promote Victoria’s tourism strength to local Chinese (Victoria State Government, 2013).
China Tourism 2020 Strategic Plan
There are slight differences between 2020 Strategic Plan for China and Tourism 2020. China 2020 Strategic Plan was developed by the Tourism Australia in collaboration with the tourism industry and government stakeholders (“2020 China Strategic Plan Progress Report, 2011). Tourism Australia aimed for A$13 billion at the end of the decade (2020) from Chinese visitors. Australia targeted on affluent and independently minded Chinese travelers (Freed, 2014). In order to attract more Chinese visitors, Tourism Australia has identified five pillars which are vital to being competitive and to win market share in China; The five pillars are knowing the customer, geographic strategy, quality Australian tourism experiences, aviation development and partnership between government and industry (Australia, 2011). Besides that, Australia also provides direct access for Australia tourism operators to Chinese consumer by providing language translation in tourism websites (“Tourism 2020 – About Us – Tourism Australia”, 2016). Also, Tourism Australia is on its way to build and host website about Australia in China, in purpose of improving the connectivity and usability (“Tourism 2020 – About Us – Tourism Australia”, 2016).
Other than that, another strategy from Pham, Nghiem & Dwyer (2017) to attract more Chinese visitors to travel to Australia, Australia needs to keep low cost on visiting Australia, both ground and travel costs; ground means the cost in accommodation in Australia itself (Pham, Nghiem & Dwyer, 2017). On the other hand, some strategies in traditional advertising could be implemented too (Barsch, 2009). Based on You (2012), Chinese travelers prefer to go in large groups or package group in which they are only required to follow the schedule given without worrying about anything as there will be one group leader who will organize everything for the group. Thus, advertisement through travel agency is a good idea because Chinese visitors will most likely go to travel agencies to purchase their itineraries (You, 2012). According to Mao & Zhang (2012), word of mouth is where the Chinese visitors get influenced to visit Australia. T Chinese’s word of mouth is one of the strongest tool in China including their social media. They have their own social media such as Weibo, WeChat and Youku. Their social media is one of the strongest to attract other local, because the other local get influenced by Chinese local that has visited Australia. According to Tourism Australia (2011), Weibo is one strongest social media to attract Chinese visitors with 889 million users per month. Chinese visitors who are visiting Australia, they will definitely share their experience in the social media such as Weibo (Burke, 2015). According to Burke (2015), after the Chinese visitor in Australia share they experience through Weibo, their friends will comment on the photo they shared. Through the comment, word-of-mouth happened eventually. Thus with good advertisement or making good experience for every Chinese visitor in Australia, it will effect the number of visitor to come to Australia.
Those strategies above are strategies that have been planned by Tourism Australia to attract more Chinese visitors to come to Australia. Some of them has been successful and some still waiting on the result.
One particular decisive strategy that might really attract Chinese tourists belongs to its immigration tactic: a 10-year frequent traveler Chinese visitor visa and the establishment Australia immigration in Chengdu, China.
Chinese 10-year multiple entry visa was launched on December 2016. The 10-year multiple entry visa allows the applicants to stay up to 3 months in Australia for tourist or business purposes. The 10-year multiple entry visa for Chinese is still on trial, therefore, the number for applicants still limited. The condition to apply is not significantly hard too. To apply, the applicants need to provide biometric identifiers (fingerprints and photograph) at an Australia Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in China before lodging the application online. Due to its being trialed, it is only available online and the fee is AUD1000 (“Trial 10-year Frequent Traveller Visitor visa in China”, 2016).
In 9 November 2014, Julie Bishop, the Minister for Australian Foreign Affairs, officially opened The Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu, China. The Australian Consulate General in Chengdu is the forth Australian Consulate-General in China which covers four provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Chongqing Municipality. With the opening of the forth Australian Consulate General in China, Australia is hoping to widen cultural exchange and the scope of economic growth (GoChengdu, 2014). Certainly, it gives more access for Chinese residents to apply for visa (Bishop, 2014) which makes it easier for Chinese around the area of Chengdu to apply for a visa to visit Australia. Beside the one in Chengdu, there are Consulate General offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai as well (“Our embassies and consulates overseas”, 2017).
According to China 2020 Strategic Plan, one of the plan is official tourism Australia website in Chinese language. The plan has been going on well so far. With the help of translator, the website has working so well and attracted more Chinese visitors (Walsh, 2016).
Tourism industry are businesses that provides good and services to facilitate business and leisure activities away from home environment. China is one of the fastest growing travel market in the world.
Chinese visitors to Australia has been growing in numbers. The number of Chinese visitors in Australia has exceeded 1 million, which makes Chinese visitors the second biggest number of visitors after New Zealand. Australia has 2020 Strategic Plan for Tourism Australia; both general and for China itself.
Aviation is the most popular and accessible sector of transportation that connects Australia and China, with direct flight available, fuelling Chinese visitors to come to Australia. Besides that, expansion of middle class, holidays and annual leave entitlement give more opportunities for Chinese people to go on holiday. Chinese people can afford leisure travel and long-haul trips and send their younger generation to study for higher education in Australia.
There are positive and negative impacts as a result of high number of Chinese visitors in Australia. It does create a big impact on the economy of Australia. The Chinese travelers contribute almost on all part of Australia’s economy which leads to increase of local prices such as good and services. Besides the impacts on good and services, it is also impacting on the property values, because many Chinese invests their money on property in Australia. On the other hand, negative impacts from Chinese travellers are overcrowding and potential wrong treatment towards animals/nature as they have different behavior and attitudes to nature/wildlife experiences.
In order to avoid negative impacts, Australia needs to understand what the Chinese needs and wants as well as their motivation when they visit Australia. The Chinese want and need safety when they are travelling, because China and Australia has big culture differences, for example, the Chinese tends to travel in large group to ensure their safety.
There are five key factors for Chinese to travel. The five key factors are safety and security, world class nature, good food and wine, aquatic and coastal, value for money. As Australia has all those five key factors of Chinese to travel, therefore, Chinese choose to experience Australia. To increase customer satisfaction and visitation, Australia needs to facilitate the experiences in different sectors. Accor’s hotel group, for example, is an international chain hotel which provides Chinese services, Chinese language option on websites, and employs casuals Chinese speaking tour guides in attraction places.
Australia has 2020 strategic plan to attract Chinese visitors to come to Australia. One of the strategies are creating website about Australia in China, in order to give more access for Chinese to look up information about Australia. Traditional advertising is also implemented as the travelers belong to the age group of 45-59 years old. They might prefer traditional way to look for information. Lastly, a strategy that is being trialed by Australia to attract Chinese visitors is a 10-year frequent traveler Chinese visa, released last December. This is in addition to building more Australia Consulate General offices in China and websites in Chinese language.
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