Over 1M Chinese tourists visited Australia from mainland China1 in 2015. This is a first, and has ranked Australia second only to the US for the number of outbound tourists visiting an English-speaking long-haul destination.
These visitors generated $7.7B in local visitor economy expenditure (up 21% on 2014), indicating that not only is the growth in numbers outpacing current Tourism Australia’s 2020 Strategy, but the economic impact forecasts for 2020 might actually be achieved by next year.
Total trip expenditure leapt by 18 per cent to $36.6 billion, while actual expenditure in Australia soared by 20 per cent to $24.6 billion. The main driver of the increase… has been a near sevenfold increase in expenditure by Chinese visitors from $0.9 billion to $6.2 billion.
As this figure is set to increase, there has never been a more important time for the local economy to make the most of this growing market – a large market of non-English speaking visitors.
An emerging market of Chinese tourists
The growth of non-English speaking Chinese tourists means more needs to be done to bridge the cultural divide. Recent research highlights the main concerns for outbound visitors from China are language barriers, cultural differences, and signage.
Outbound travellers from China have previously been focused on nearby Asian, or Chinese-language friendly destinations – including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore & Malaysia.
More recently however, with regulatory changes supporting new independent travellers and a growing middle-class, the increasingly confident Chinese traveller is venturing out for more unique experiences – Thailand, USA – and Australia.
With increasing international competition for the Chinese visitor, great opportunities are available for Adelaide, South Australia to attract this new driver of the visitor economy. The Australia China Business Council is leading the way with this China-ready program for local South Australian Tourism and Hospitality industry operators.