Social media could reignite Chinese tourism to Australia, report suggests

London, UK - July 31, 2018: The buttons of the app WeChat, surrounded by Gmail, Google Drive, Google and other apps on the screen of an iPhone.

Social media could play a critical role in reviving Australia’s billion-dollar Chinese tourism market.

That’s according to a new report from the Australian China Business Council.

Of particular interest in the report is the idea of getting Chinese tourists into struggling regional areas.

“Chinese tourism could boost regional economies, including those affected by recent bushfires,” the report said.

“However, understanding in regional areas of how to promote to Chinese consumers and cater to their needs remains at a low level.

“Developing a library of resources for regional councils and businesses, along with assistance with social media campaigns and face-to-face Chinese cultural education workshops, could support further growth.”

The concept of creating resources to help with social media campaigns in these regions comes from the important – yet complex – role social media plays for Chinese tourists.

With the ‘Great Firewall of China’ making services such as Facebook and Instagram unfamiliar to many Chinese visitors, local brands have turned to Chinese platforms such as WeChat.

WeChat goes beyond a standard social media platform, with capabilities in messaging, e-commerce and search.

Tourism Australia created a WeChat campaign featuring a Quokka and Koala recently, which was able to acquire a 200 per cent engagement rate, compared to the average.

However, even if local tourism businesses try to capitalise on the power of social media to woo Chinese travellers back, authorities of the world’s most populous country have just made it more difficult by upgrading its travel advice for Australia.

“Recently, there has been a marked increase in racial discrimination and violence in Australia. The Australian media continue to incite anti-China and hatred of China sentiments,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a warning issued late yesterday.

“Relevant Australian law enforcement agencies have arbitrarily searched Chinese citizens and seized their articles, which may cause harm to the personal and property safety of the Chinese citizens in Australia.”


Featured image source: iStock/stockcam

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