The number of Chinese people visiting Australia was expected to increase to 3.3 million by 2026, up from the 1.2 million last year who spent a total of $9.2bn.
According to a recent seminar held by the Australian Chinease Business Council, Ms Nicki Kenyon, General Manager – Consumer Markets, Visit Victoria, made the point that China’s travelling millennials are travellers and not tourists. Millennials are 18-36 year olds who undertake independent international travel. They are already heading for Australia in large numbers.
Nicki suggested that millenials want a tailored experience that caters to their interests and curiosities, as opposed to pre-ordained ‘package’ tours which have been the preferred method of holidaying for previous generations of Chinese tourists. It is the individual and unique experiences that the travelling millennials then share online through Weibo and WeChat, which promotes the popularity of personalising one’s own overseas experience and encourages others to do the same.
Mr Tim Grandfield, Executive Officer, Great Southern Touring Route Australia, highlighted the importance of making products and services easy for Chinese travellers to consume and share. The most fundamental aspect to this, he said, was the need for accurate and professional translation of signage and other critical information in Australia.
Mr Saxon Booth, Director of Business Development, Dragon Tail Interactive, advised that to fuel word of mouth marketing, digital connectivity is key and video is a popular method of communication. There are now greater numbers of Chinese travellers who spend more. Chinese millennials are digital natives (on smartphones especially, with 75.6% of live-streaming users are under 36 years old). Further, approximately 65% of Chinese millennials use smartphones to research and book overseas.
It all goes to confirm our view: become Brand Ready.