Melbourne to welcome thousands of Chinese visitors

Crowds walk below neon signs on Nanjing Road. The street is the main shopping district of the city and one of the world's busiest shopping districts.

Melbourne’s tourism industry is getting ready to welcome thousands more visitors from China, with the launch of the second ‘Check-in to China’ program, which will reinforce Melbourne’s status as the most visitable city in the world.

By the year ending December 2016, Chinese visitors to Victoria increased by 16.1 per cent to reach 569,000 overnight visitors compared to the previous year with an annual expenditure of $2.4 billion.

For the past five years (2011-2016) this market has had ongoing expenditure growth of 21.7 per cent per annum.

Analysis for Victoria indicates that China is estimated to generate 53 per cent of Victoria’s total international expenditure ($6.8 billion)  by the year 2024-25 with an estimated 1.5 million overnight visitors.

Destination Melbourne’s Check-in to China program is the first of its kind, and will help businesses be market ready.

Check-in to China is a six-month immersive experience, in cultural understanding, language classes and professional development, for those in Melbourne’s visitor industry.

It includes a 10-day study trip to Greater China, allowing participants the opportunity to gain the most up-to-date insights into the Chinese tourism market. Well, we could get on board with that too!

“Now is the time to understand the China market and for Melbourne’s visitor industry to become strategic in its approach,” said Laura Cavallo, CEO, Destination Melbourne.

“Given that China is Victoria’s biggest international visitor market, it isn’t enough to be reactive, the visitor industry must become truly proactive in embracing this market.  That is why Destination Melbourne launched our successful Check-in to China program in 2016, which we will repeat this year.

“We want our industry to be well equipped to engage, and offer the best possible visitor experience.”

“The growth in visitor numbers from China is an opportunity for Melbourne businesses across the tourism spectrum, not just the big players.

“This means retail large and small, dining across all price points, accommodation of all capacities, tour promoters, transport operators, attractions – the whole industry.

“Everyone really needs to consider their China market strategy to attract and retain these visitors to our destination.”

As China is Victoria’s number one market, Destination Melbourne already provides the free Chinese Official Visitor Guide. Given the strong growth prediction, it is important that the Victorian visitor industry is across this market’s needs and expectations.

“We can’t speak for the whole of Australia, but in Melbourne, we have been working towards attracting, retaining and meeting the needs of this market for a number of years,” Cavallo added.

“Destination Melbourne believes that we need to prepare, and that is exactly what we are doing. Melbourne will be ready.”

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