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Chinese tourism boom but Hunter missing out

Release Date: 19/02/2018
Regional  New  South Wales’  lack of infrastructure and mobile  connectivity is costing it billions in Chinese tourist dollars, according to a report released by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber.
The report, Getting Out There: Encouraging Chinese Tourism highlights the challenges faced by regional businesses in attracting those visitors and offers recommendations which can be adopted by Governments to capitalise on the Chinese tourism market.
“This report emanated from two roundtable discussions with tourism businesses, specialist marketing agencies operating in China, regional airports, and regional sporting clubs with links to China and academic institutions with Chinese students. One of the roundtables was held in Newcastle  and featured local businesses.
“There is no doubting  the growth  and  potential  of Chinese  tourism,”  Hunter  Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.
“Last year 1.4 million visitors to Australia were from mainland  China . That’s projected to soar to more than 3.3 million Chinese tourists by 2026.
“The report shows that in 2017 Chinese tourists spent a whopping $3.2 billion dollars, but most of that money was spent in Sydney.
“This correlates with Destination  NSW  figures which  show Chinese tourists love Sydney whereas only 2.1% visit the Hunter Region.
“Chinese tourism is the top market for NSW with double digit annual growth but we ’re not seeing this in the Hunter,” Bob said.
In  order to address  the massive  imbalance  and turn it into  an opportunity  the Report recommends:
    Expediting  the  roll-out  of  high  speed  broadband,  improving  mobile  coverage  and increasing public WiFi across regional NSW;
    Targeting investment in new public infrastructure to improve access to regional tourism destinations;
    Target marketing  to the Chinese  students in Australia  and their visiting  friends and relatives; and
    Providing greater support to business in un derstanding challenges, requirements and potential for success from the Chinese Tourism market.
“If the Hunter Region and its iconic locations are to generate benefit, we will need to work closely with Destination NSW who have an enormous focus on the Chinese market.
“We can’t do this alone and the approach needs to be mul ti-faceted; it’s not just a matter of producing a nice brochure when it comes to enticing the Chinese market,” Bob said.

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