China is officially emerging as the most important tourism market for Australia. Not only are Chinese tourists overtaking the New Zealand market as the most lucrative tourist for Australian tourism companies, but many experts suggest that the Chinese market has the potential to be worth around $13 billion by 2020.

If you want to know how to capture the attention of these “Free and Independent” explorers, then you need to figure out how to adapt your tourism product accordingly. With that in mind, the following suggestions might help.

1.     Understand Your Market

First things first, if you want to engage and excite Chinese customers, then you need to make sure you understand the kind of traveller you want to appeal to. A report called “Touring with the Chinese Traveller“, found that many of these tourists have the following characteristics:

  • Youth: Around 56% of all Chinese travellers are born in the 1980s, meaning that they’re still relatively young.
  • Families: More than half of all Chinese travellers are the parents of minors, which means that you may need to adapt your tourism product to appeal to families.
  • Wealth: Around 18% of Chinese tourists have an income of around $3,000 per month, while another 22% earn more than $3000 per month.
  • Independence: Although there’s plenty of opportunity available for packaged and family tours among Chinese tourists, solo travel is becoming increasingly popular in the market. This opens a new world of tour opportunities for tourism professionals.

2.     Review Your Product

There are plenty of things that could draw a Chinese tourist towards your product, but according to the research of SA Tourism, most of the travellers in this group are motivated by four distinct things: food, wine, wildlife, and nature. If you’re not including these important factors in your tour, then you could be missing out.

  • Nature: Australia is a stunning place full of open spaces and blue skies – something that’s particularly attractive to the Chinese crowd. Try to find ways that you can implement more interactions with nature into your tour.
  • Food and Wine: Many Chinese explorers enjoy coming to Australia to sample some of the local cuisine. In fact, if you have the right food and wine offering at your tour, then you could access the benefits of word of mouth marketing, as Chinese tourists like to share snaps of their food on social media!
  • Wildlife: Australia has plenty to offer in terms of wildlife, and the local animals never fail to amaze the Chinese traveller. The best tours are those that can offer your travellers immersive experiences, complete with close encounters with animals.

3.     Look for Ways to Differentiate Yourself

Finally, as the Chinese tourism market becomes more lucrative, it’s important to remember that you won’t be the only brand trying to attract these visitors to your tour. Try some of the following things to differentiate yourself, and gain an edge over your competitors:

  • Employ a translator who can speak fluent Mandarin
  • Upgrade signage using Chinese characters
  • Invest in online campaigns with social media to make it easier for your customers to share their experiences.
  • Offer popular Chinese payment options like Alipay, and WeChat Wallet
  • Ensure Wi-Fi is available where possible.


Luke is the founder of Thrive Tourism with almost a decade of experience in Online Marketing, consulting and managing campaigns for brands big and small since 2012.

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