Tourism Australia ramps up focus on Chinese big spenders

Tourism Australia will continue its bid to attract big spending Chinese tourists as the body steps up its marketing of high-end products to the wealthy middle classes.Tourism Australia logo

The move is central to the tourism agency’s attempt to woo more independent Chinese travellers who spend more and travel more extensively around Australia.

In the latest move to take Australia upmarket, TA wants to collaborate with “elite” travel agents in the key gateway cities whose clients are “highly-affluent”.

While Tourism Australia already works with many agents across China – with around 3,200 retailers deemed ‘Aussie specialists’ having signed up to an online training program – management want to ramp up their focus on the cashed up Chinese living in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Chengdu and Chongqing.

A request for proposal (RFP) will be drawn up and sent to 86 travel agencies with Approved Destination Status – retailers which have been cleared by the Chinese Government to sell travel packages to Australia – with the aim of forging closer ties and jointly promoting Australia’s upmarket product. An initial target of working with 30 to 35 agents has been set for the first year.

The desire to build an upmarket network of agencies not only signals the next step in attracting big spenders from China, but further illustrates the shift away from group tours, the traditional mainstay of Chinese tourism to Australia.

Last September the agency revealed it was moving to a Restaurant Australia platform highlighting the wealth of produce coming from the country, with a new campaign launched in May to support the platform.

TA managing director John O’Sullivan said the marketing of luxury Australia, including luxury lodges, food and wine, needs to be complimented by sophisticated and effective distribution of the product.

“We want to target the independent traveller. They are the ones who travel further afield, who want to see more than the reef and the rock, and who spend more,” he told Mumbrella. “They travel to Broome and the Barossa Valley.

“We need to get the product in front of them.”

Steve Jones


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.