If you’re looking for the most lucrative market to tap into in 2018, then the statistics suggest that you should start your search in China. According to the manager for the Sydney Fish Market, Bryan Skepper, the number of people visiting the popular tourist destination each year continues to grow, driven by word of mouth marketing and social media.

In Australia, the potential of the Chinese market is practically unlimited. In fact, many of these tourists come to the country with a plan to try some delicious local food. Many share their dining experiences on social media, which encourages, even more, visitors from back home. All in all, the boom in the Chinese market just goes to show how powerful social marketing can be.

The Growth in Chinese Tourism

According to recent reports, there were 379,000 Chinese tourists visiting the Sydney Fish Market in 2017 – an increase of 15% on 2016. The Australian government hopes that the numbers will continue to grow in 2021 when the redevelopment of the market has come to an end. To improve the experience for foreign visitors, the markets have already begun to invest in Mandarin interpreters for a more convenient trip.

Asia has long maintained a powerful love affair with Australia – something that’s likely to continue growing in the years ahead as experts predict that China will soon overtake New Zealand as the largest tourism market in Aus. In October 2017, numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggested that China was only around 17,000 people away from becoming the biggest source of tourists for Australia.

Figures from the ABS also showed that around 1.34 million tourists from China came to Australia between January and October, while there were around 1.35 million tourists from New Zealand. Although the New Zealand interest grew by 1.4% it was completely overshadowed by the growth in Chinese tourism at 12%.

China Loves Travel

It’s not surprising that China could soon be topping the charts for Australian tourism when you consider the fact that the country currently spends $10 billion on travel expenses alone. Today, Australia should be on the look-out for new tourism opportunities that will allow them to tap into the growing Chinese market, who enjoy coming back to the country time and time again.

In fact, the numbers show that around 50% of Chinese tourists are repeat customers, who love their experience in Australia. The research so far suggests that Chinese tourists will be flocking more towards destinations like Canberra, Kangaroo Island, and Margaret River.

The fact that Chinese explorers can also fly directly to Australia with more than 10 different airlines obviously contributes to the growth of the marketplace, and the tourism industry in the country is now hoping to take advantage of the love that China has for Australia’s stunning open spaces, beautiful blue skies, and incredible experiences.

Since many of the adventurous individuals that come to Australia from China are single tourists, rather than groups, many Australian tourism operators may benefit from targeting independent travellers when they’re creating tour packages for 2018 and beyond.


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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