Following the announcement by Australia’s Federal Government of an extension to the visa pilot scheme which permits Chinese visitors to receive three-year online multiple entry visas, the New South Wales Government is going straight to the source to encourage Chinese visitation to the state.
NSW will continue its focus on promoting Sydney and NSW to China, the State’s largest source market for international visitors, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres announced yesterday.
The Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW (DNSW), will conduct a week-long pop-up event in Chengdu, and engage in a partnership with travel wholesaler China Tourism International.
The pop-up event will be located in a major Chinese shopping mall, the Chengdu International Finance Centre (IFS), from 22-27 April 2015.
Ayres said that approximately 100,000 Chinese shoppers will get a taste for what’s on offer in NSW when they visit the pop-up over the week.
“This is a fantastic initiative that will promote our State to an important Chinese market. Using striking imagery and innovative design, it is sure to be a major focal point of IFS, a major shopping attraction in Chengdu,” Ayres said.
“Shoppers will be able to sample NSW wines at a tasting station, while the Chinese ‘Barista of the Year’ will be on hand to serve NSW coffee and milk at the booth.”
The promotion will also involve top restaurants in Chengdu developing a ‘NSW Food Month’ in May, with selected local restaurants creating and promoting menus featuring NSW produce, as well as advertising dedicated food and wine travel packages to Sydney and NSW, which have great appeal to the China visitor market.
The partnership with China Travel International will promote NSW destinations and experiences to Chinese travellers through print and digital advertising, as well as through trade events and online publications.
“This campaign will promote the wide array of travel experiences on offer in the State, including farm stays, food and wine tourism, golf, events, deep-sea fishing, Aboriginal experiences and the Vivid Sydney Festival,” Ayres added.
“The campaign will showcase unique NSW destinations such as the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Port Macquarie, the Tweed, Coffs Harbour, the Central Coast, Wollongong, Jervis Bay and Kiama.”
Both campaigns are pitched at attracting independent Chinese travellers, who according to the latest Tourism Research Australia figures now make up 59% of the inbound market from China, with 260,500 non-group visitors coming to NSW in the year ending September 2014. This represents a 22% increase on the previous year’s figures, and is the highest figure since 2006.
Destination NSW chief executive Sandra Chipchase said that both initiatives reflect the importance of inbound Chinese tourism to NSW.
“China is the number one inbound market for NSW and it is important that we continue to find new ways to promote our State in growing cities like Chengdu. In the year ending September 2014, more than 443,000 Chinese visitors stayed 12.1 million nights in NSW and spent over AID 1.5 billion during their stay,” Chipchase said.
“In addition to these latest initiatives, DNSW has recently hosted 33 NSW tourism operators in China as part of the Greater China Mission, which allowed them to form direct relationships with Chinese providers and showcase NSW destinations directly to their target market.
“In February we also launched Sydney.cn, a dedicated website hosted in China, to promote Sydney and NSW to local travellers. We also signed an agreement with the international arm of major Chinese financial institution China UnionPay, UnionPay International, to promote Sydney and NSW to over 4.5 billion cardholders,” she said.
Edited by Peter Needham