TA to target China’s second cities

TA to target China’s second cities
By admin

Tourism Australia will learn from past mistakes by making an early play to target repeat visitors from China as well as extending its marketing reach to China’s second-tier cities.

The strategies will play a major role in ensuring the Australian tourism industry does not fall into the same trap as did in Japan and become over reliant on first time visitors.

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy admitted the failures of the past are shaping its future direction in a market that is the tourism body's big hope of success.

“What we did well in Japan was attract first timers but we didn't encourage enough repeat business,” he told Travel Today. “We have learned from that.”

Remaining ahead of rival tourist boards by spreading the word of Australia and encouraging repeat visitation was critical not only to achieving the 2020 growth targets but building the China market “for the next 50 years”, McEvoy said.

The marketing push beyond the major centers of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou follows research into travel habits and preferences in 13 “secondary cities”.

McEvoy stressed the need to keep ahead of the competition and further tap into China’s “travel hungry middle and upper classes”.

“We will keep concentrating on the big cities where there is the majority of air capacity but other centres are playing catch up,” he said. “People in secondary cities have massive travel aspirations. We need to keep on the curve or ahead of it.”

He continued: “The increasing competition in China is a huge challenge, it is the biggest challenge for us. The Chinese National Tourist Board told me there are 130 countries that have Approved Destination Status. In 1999 there was just ourselves and New Zealand.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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