China’s government opened its borders to foreigners on January 8 and allowed Chinese citizens to go abroad. Some in the travel industry anticipated a surge in international Chinese travellers after Ctrip, a Chinese online travel agency, reported that between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5, search interest for outbound flights from mainland China increased by 83% and international flight bookings increased by 59%.
The newly wealthy young Chinese are educated, technically inclined, and sophisticated and travel extensively for experiences and shopping. As per the report published by the united nation world tourism organization, in 2019 Chinese spent a whopping US $ 139 billion, more than travellers from any other country. Also, the number of Chinese travellers went to more than 150 million, thus making the Chinese travel market lucrative and attractive so the global markets are waiting for it restore in 2023.
The rise of Chinese disposable income
Today, the Chinese have more disposable incomes with the meteoric rise of their economy. This has led to urbanization, increased use of the internet, and online businesses all of which have contributed to the increased willingness and ability to travel extensively. The earlier generation of Chinese travelled mostly for shopping, but the educated and suave young, new Chinese travel for experiences.
Chinese tourists prefer to go to beaches and cities
Though the Chinese like to travel extensively across the globe, they have a special preference for beaches and cities. As such countries with beautiful beaches, oceans, etc. such as Australia, and New Zealand have always been on top of the wish list of Chinese travellers. This was also supported by a survey conducted by Hotels.com, on 3000 Chinese travellers who expressed their interest to travel to Australia in a year, than to any other country. New Zealand also is on their list of the preferred destination for travel.
The Australian-friendly welcome is powerful in attracting Chinese tourists
Australia and New Zealand are trying to make the most of the economic growth in China. A survey conducted by Tourism Research Australia revealed that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia has increased to 646,779, as also their spending in Australia increased to US$ 3.4 billion. The Australians’ friendly and warm attitude towards the Chinese is an important factor for Chinese wanting to travel to Australia. Australia offers safety, security, history, culture and everything that Chinese travellers are looking for.
Australia increases its budget in the tourism industry in the hope of getting an even bigger slice
Chinese are flocking to Australia, bringing along revenues for the tourism industry there. Australia has been marketing tourism to china extensively allocating 25% of its budget to promoting tourism Australian in small and big cities in China. To bring in more tourists to Australia, from China, tourism Australia has teamed up with Southern Airlines of China which uses the slogan “Australia, it’s not that far” to promote Australia to the Chinese.
China is a great source of tourists for New Zealand, with 1.2 million Chinese tourists visiting NZ every year. New Zealand has made similar arrangements to promote tourism, they have signed an agreement with China Southern Airlines to carry more passengers between the two countries. Also, New Zealand has also eased the visa rules for South China airlines’ frequent flyer card members, those with gold, and silver cardholders. According to the agreement, these cardholders can show their travel history for the past two years, in lieu of statements’ showing funds for covering their expenses in New Zealand. With the success of this rule, the New Zealand government is considering entering into similar arrangements with other airlines such as Air New Zealand.
The power of this agreement
Chinese simply love any kind of promotion and deals, even the most symbolic ones. This is because it makes them feel like they were cunning enough to benefit from a better deal, something that is in their culture since negotiation is part of their daily life. In addition, making Chinese tourists feel even more privileged with this agreement is even more powerful:
Simply having to show their travel history strikes the ever-so-important “face” in a good manner. On the other hand, the airlines that struck that type of deal benefit from an increase in the brand image since they can be seen as the brands that make deals with whole countries and take great care of their premium member. This is something Chinese tourists like very much.
As a result: potentially more VIP Loyal customers for the airlines, something very valuable when you know that actually Chinese are amongst the least loyal customers in the world. Australia, by setting this agreement up, especially targets the rich Chinese. Why may you ask? Well, this is because frequent flyers must be rich in order to do so. Granting privileges to frequent flyers means granting privileges to rich Chinese wanting to go to Australia. Ultimately this deal should increase the number of richer Chinese tourists.
How to exploit the full potential of this agreement:
When a company strikes a deal like this to attract Chinese tourists, it is necessary to advertise it the right way, using the right channels.
- Advertising it on the airline and government website
- Publishing online press releases
- Posting questions/answers on Baidu Zhidao, the equivalent of Yahoo!
- Posting the news on the airline’s official account on socials like Weibo and WeChat
- Posting content about this agreement on travel specialised platforms such as Qyer
- It is also needed to keep track of the Chinese tourist’s reactions to observe how effective an agreement like this can be and adjust the message to be sent in order to exploit this 100%
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