Australia doing a pretty good job in attracting Chinese tourists. According to the country’s tourism board, Tourism Australia, 1.42 million Chinese tourists traveled to Australia in the year to May. That represents 13 percent year over year growth. For a relatively high-end and long-haul destination like Australia, to continue to have double digit growth after hitting well over 1 million annual Chinese arrivals is impressive to say the least. Tourism Australia wants to maintain this momentum and is hoping to achieve that goal via two new strategic partnerships with major Chinese travel stakeholders: Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways and Chinese OTA Mafengwo.
Tourism Australia is partnering with Cathay and Mafengwo to promote Australia in the Chinese outbound tourism market
The Cathay agreement is a three year marketing partnership and is designed to attract “high yielding business events professionals in Greater China.” For this focus, Australia is looking to attract business events travelers from Hong Kong, along with China. Cathay may be the best placed airline in Greater China for this purpose, with its premium brand and its Hong Kong base.
Business travel is a niche segment, but one that is especially valuable. In 2017, China sent 106,000 business travelers to Australia who spent a grand total of $438 million. Overall Chinese tourists spent $8.08 billion in the year to March.
The second strategic partnership with Mafengwo seeks to attract more traditional, independent leisure tourists. The agreement with Tourism Australia will result in a curated travel page for Australia on Mafengwo’s app. On the page, potential travelers to Australia can find information on sights and travel products to help drive the booking of trips to Australia via Mafengwo.
With Mafengwo as a partner, Tourism Australia will have access to better data on promoting Australia as a tourism destination in China
Of course, ideally the Mafengwo partnership will do more than simply drive sales. It will likely become a valuable source of data on how best to market Australian travel products to Chinese tourists.
No doubt these latest efforts will synergize well with the numerous Chinese tourist marketing campaigns that the country’s various destinations have embarked on in recent years. The most high-profile was by far South Australia’s marketing blitz with Chinese superstar Huang Xiaoming.