Australia must adapt for Chinese tourism boom

The Australian travel industry must adapt to meet the coming boom in the outbound market from China.

Australia must adapt for Chinese tourism boom

The Australian travel industry must adapt to meet the coming boom in the outbound market from China.

Pacific Asia Travel Association chief executive officer Martin Craigs says Australia must be “export ready” for an increase in tourists from China in the coming years.

“It’s a global issue because it’s so huge,” Mr Craigs said.

Of the 100 million outbound mainland Chinese tourists predicted by PATA, half are expected to visit Hong Kong and Macau, “but that still leaves the odd million a week going somewhere else”, Mr Craigs said.

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The Chinese were “tourists who are high net worth and spending a great deal when on holiday”.

For instance, high-end British department store Selfridges now employs 10 Mandarin-speaking staff for their Chinese customers who spend an average of $1638.

“So if you are a retailer, it makes sense to provide people who can welcome those visitors,” Mr Craigs said.

Australian travel operators need to step up to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from the China market.

Tourism Australia data for 2011 showed arrivals from China represented the fastest growing market segment and was No.3 in total arrivals, behind only New Zealand and the United Kingdom, for total arrivals to Australia of 5.9 million.

Arrivals from China gained by almost 20 per cent to 542,000 from 453,800 a year earlier, excluding arrivals from Hong Kong.

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