China Ready Helping Australian tour operators prepare for the emerging inbound Chinese tour market

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1 China Ready Helping Australian tour operators prepare for the emerging inbound Chinese tour market Case Study: Pilot program conducted with Eco Lodges of Australia Presenter: Dan Butt Communities Benefiting from Strategic Partnerships

2 Content Why was the China Ready program developed? Eco Lodges of Australia pilot program Lessons learned along the way Participant Perspective Where to next?

3 Why Develop China Ready? 1. Market Intelligence collected from travel agents out of China in 2010: Rapidly growing demand for new and innovative Australian tourism products, particularly nature based BUT Shortage of Chinese friendly products AND Difficulties dealing with Aussie operators, particularly when sourcing new products 2. Tourism Australia research also found that Nature Based Products, Travel Journeys and Indigenous tourism experiences where the 3 biggest draw cards attracting Chinese tourists to Australia

4 Why Develop China Ready? The numbers speak for themselves! 13 million trips in 2001, increased to 56 million in 2011 Projected to reach 100 million in the next 5 years Australia enjoying 1% of this massive market 0.5 million visitors and 3 billion AUD spent in 2011

5 2011 saw 19.5% increase on visitor numbers from 2010 Expectation of similar increases for 2012

6 Rankings of International Must Visit Holiday Destinations % Australia Hawaii Maldives France Switzerland USA Egypt UK Greece Italy Canada New Zealand Dubai Denmark South America South Africa Source: GfK Blue Moon, Development Plan Research for Tourism Australia, 2011

7 Why Develop China Ready? The Australian Perspective Perceived Barriers: Price points: Chinese unwilling to pay for more expensive products Accessibility from urban centre Language Cultural differences Availability of Chinese cuisine Can t service large coach tours so product is unsuitable for this market Business costs associated with changing product for a niche market

8 Why Develop China Ready? The Australian Perspective Other Questions: What changes need to be made to existing products? Is this a genuine business opportunity? Do all Chinese expect 5 star service? How do we work around the language barrier? Will Chinese travel outside the East coast capital cities? What general expectations and requirements do Chinese travellers have?

9 Conclusion There was a real and urgent need for a product to provide answers for Australian tour operators looking to access the growing Chinese market.

10 China Ready Pilot Program Strategic Partnership Ecotourism Australia Spirit of China AVANA T-QUAL Grant Pilot development with Eco Lodges Australia Project Aims 1. Develop and deliver Chinese cultural awareness training program 2. Provide details on how to deliver superior service to Chinese guests 3. Assist in the development of marketing strategies for attracting Chinese visitors 4. Create a link between Australian operators and travel agents in China 5. Develop and promote a standard to Chinese agents that will allow them to put faith in Australian products This initiative is funded by T-QUAL grants

11 Where has the China Ready team visited so far? FREYCINET ECO RETREAT

12 Training Overview Why become China Ready Stereotypes and expectations Defining the modern Chinese traveller Adapting products to a Chinese market Engaging with the market

13 Some Key Lessons and Training Outcomes Develop star standard system for Eco tourism products Playful, interactive activities are the most popular (playing a didgeridoo) Chinese travellers prefer a structured schedule Opportunity for easier first up wins with Chinese students already in Australia Importance of clear instruction for even the simplest activities Education is an extremely important part of the travel experience Minimal impact tourism and Eco friendly experiences are key selling points

14 Key lessons Participant Perspective Sonya Mroz (Sales and Marketing Executive) Need to understand the Chinese culture to appreciate travel motives and expectations Importance of star ratings for sales into China The need to define and understand the expectations of an ecotourism experience Meal requirements What steps have you now made towards engaging the Chinese market? Welcome information packs in Chinese Marketing material translated Utilising Chinese social media platforms (Weibo and Ren Ren) Developing relationships with agents in China Placing more focus on targeting travellers from tier 2 cities such as Chengdu, Chongqing and Xi an

15 Participant Perspective continued... Major Difficulties Travel agents continuing to use traditional itineraries limits the time available to travel outside east coast capitals Language barrier currently do not have enough demand to employ a Chinese speaking guide Future Opportunities More independent Chinese travellers visiting QLD Travel agents now more willing to promote new/unique experiences Size of the market

16 Where to next? Continue improving the pathway to market making it easier for Chinese travel agents to communicate with Australian tour operators Educate travel agents in China about Australian ecotourism products and the new star standard Conduct more training in Australia for the ecotourism industry Public launch of Eco Lodges to agents in China late October 2012

17 Thank you This initiative is funded by T-QUAL grants

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