The federal government has launched a new campaign to attract an emerging and lucrative type of Chinese visitor to Australia, commonly known as the free and independent traveller (FIT).
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham officially launched Tourism Australia’s latest campaign, ‘Too Australian for Words’, last week in an attempt to lure more Chinese FITs to Aussie shores.
“FITs tend to be younger, more adventurous and are willing to get out of their comfort zone,” Birmingham said.
“We know adventure appeals to FITs and this campaign highlights Australia’s vast array of action-packed and out-of-the-box experiences that can be enjoyed beyond the major cities, such as diving with crocodiles in the Northern Territory or being surrounded by nature in a bubble tent in Capertree, New South Wales.
“Australia already has a strong affinity amongst Chinese travellers; however, we must continue to find new ways to appeal to the Chinese market.
“This campaign does exactly this, whilst at the same time looking to promote regional Australia.”
Birmingham said the campaign coincided with the release of a new report by Tourism Research Australia that highlights the rapidly-growing Chinese FIT market.
“The report shows FITs have contributed over 50 per cent of the total growth in Chinese visitors over the last decade, with an annual average growth rate of 18.8 per cent,” he said.
“China is Australia’s largest and most lucrative tourism market, worth more than $11.5 billion to the Australian economy, but this report shows the type of Chinese traveller is starting to shift.
“We’ve had huge success with attracting group visitors to Australia over the last decade, and whilst I expect this to continue, we’re also seeing the emergence of this new type of traveller.
Birmingham said with rising incomes, greater wealth dispersal and increased consumerism in China, there is significant potential for Australian inbound tourism from China, and young FITs are likely to fuel much of this potential.
“The report finds Chinese FITs are also more likely to stay over three times longer than those on an organised group tour, which presents a great opportunity for Australia’s regional tourism offerings given the strong correlation between length of stay and likelihood to travel beyond Australia’s gateways and iconic attractions,” he said.
“A forward-looking tourism industry here in Australia that wants to jump on new opportunities will help ensure the industry continues to support thousands of businesses and employ one in 13 Australians.”
The campaign follows Tourism Australia’s partnership with mobile payment platform Alipay to lure more Chinese tourists during the Lunar New Year festivities.