Chi­nese tourists tar­get in $1m drive

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - Trevor Paddenburg

MORE Chi­nese — WA’s big­gest-spend­ing vis­i­tors — could soon be fly­ing into Perth, with the State Govern­ment to­day an­nounc­ing a $1 mil­lion mar­ket­ing fund­ing.

Tourism Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia said the ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing blitz was part of a “tac­ti­cal cam­paign” to put WA on the radar for Chi­nese hol­i­day­mak­ers.

It comes af­ter the lat­est over­seas vis­i­tor fig­ures showed Aus­tralia ex­pe­ri­enced a tourism boom in the 12 months to March 2018, with vis­i­tors to Tas­ma­nia and the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory surg­ing by more than 15 per cent.

Vic­to­ria, South Aus­tralia, NSW and Queens­land also had a sub­stan­tial spike in the num­ber of vis­i­tors.

But it was a dif­fer­ent story in WA, where for­eign vis­i­tor num­bers only in­creased 1.1 per cent, and those who did come did not stay as long or spend as much, with two mil­lion fewer nights in the State com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year, and spend­ing down by 8.3 per cent or $200 mil­lion.

De­spite be­ing on the nose over­all with in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, WA was still pop­u­lar among Chi­nese, with 59,000 hol­i­day­mak­ers jet­ting in last fi­nan­cial year, up 17.2 per cent on the pre­vi­ous 12 months. They spent $299 mil­lion while they were here, mak­ing China the State’s big­gest in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor mar­ket in terms of spend.

Mr Pa­palia said China had been a strong tourism mar­ket since direct flights on China South­ern Air­lines be­tween Guangzhou and Perth were in­tro­duced, and he wanted more flights.

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