BCEC Report

Are we China-ready?

Chinese tourism in Western Australia
Report SeriesFeature
AuthorsJianhong (Cecilia) Xia, Rodel Adriano, Mikhail Prude Carcausto Zea, Lesley Crowe-Delaney, Yudan Liu, Kirsten Holmes, Zhirong Chen
PublishedJune 2018
PublisherBankwest Curtin Economics Centre
Number of Pages100

Chinese tourism to Australia has grown substantially since the start of the millennium, and this group of travellers is now the top international tourism spender. This report looks at the characteristics of Chinese visitors coming to Western Australia, their detailed travel experiences while here and whether WA is China-ready to take advantage of the boom.

We use a range of data sources to capture information on Chinese visitor travel experiences, including Chinese travel websites, Tourism Research Association (TRA) surveys, intercept surveys at Perth International Airport, and industry workshops.

The report finds that Chinese visitors are young, with money to spend – 75% of Chinese visitors to Western Australia are aged 20 to 40 years, and spend on average almost $500 per night when they stay in Australia.

Chinese visitors see WA as a destination to enjoy an unpolluted environment, to see the distinctive flora and fauna, and to experience the natural beauty of the coast and inland regions. The report recommends trip itineraries suitable for Chinese visitors and provides consumer and market insights that could be used to inform tourism industry management and influence government policies and strategies.

While WA may not be China-ready yet, this report suggests policy changes the WA Government can make to capture this growing market. Extending trading hours to 6.30pm on weeknights and additional earlier trade on Sundays is one way the WA Government could increase the $291 million already being spent in the State by Chinese visitors each year.

The report also recommends tourism operators develop and market their products to appeal to this growing market. Of the 22 tourism providers surveyed, 78 per cent did not have any Asian language skills or training and 44 per cent had no training or experience in the Asian market. Participation by tourism providers in courses such as the ChinaReady® accreditation program, and informal online learning, could see an increase in Chinese visitor number. However, some government assistance will be required if we are to fully capitalise on the opportunities this market brings to the WA economy.