Chinese Travel Market & the World

According to the latest report published by UNWTO, China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. 

Over the past decade China has been, and still is, by far the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world. Thanks to rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eightfold since 2000. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese travellers spent a record US$ 102 billion in international tourism in 2012, a 40% jump from 2011 when it amounted to US$ 73 billion.


With this sustained growth, China has become the largest spender in international tourism globally in 2012. In 2005 China ranked seventh in international tourism expenditure, and has since successively overtaken Italy, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. With the 2012 surge, China leaped to first place, surpassing both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to US$ 84 billion in 2012).

Tourism Marketing & China

Destinations have been actively targeting China through their marketing campaigns to capitalise on the increased volume of this travel market and engage Chinese travelers. Let’s see some recent examples:

Tourism Australia Targets China through Mini Series

With China being one of its key markets, some months ago Tourism Australia commissioned a  “micro-film” to be broadcasted online at China’s video sharing site Tudou in five 45-minute segments.

The story chronicles the dramatic romance of a young couple, played by wildly popular duo Rainie Yang and Show Luo. Naturally, the romance kicks off in Australia. According to the media relations department of Tourism Australia, this is a great way of getting across Destination Australia content to a large audience, estimated at up to 10 million, across Greater China.

Tourism Australia sees the potential and high engagement of online video portals and platforms in reaching Chinese consumers nationally in China and across the region. Influential celebrities generate word of mouth, not only for the China market but also amongst the Greater China region.


Advocacy from influential celebrities and their own social media platforms greatly enhance product awareness and preference. The drama content and associated travelogue will also build knowledge of Australian travel experiences for consumers.

Show Lo is one of most popular celebrities in Greater China who, through his singing, acting and TV hosting activities, engages with nearly ten million followers on and eight million followers on QQ—two of China’s leading social media platforms. Rainie Yang has more than 7.5 million followers herself on QG. (More on:

Tourism Queensland targeting Australia’s Chinese community

A new tourism campaign targeting Australia’s Chinese community has just launched in a bid to grow Queensland’s share of the international market and tempt Chinese residents either working or studying in Australia to holiday in Queensland.China is currently Queensland’s second largest and fastest growing international market, according to Tourism Research Australia as in 2012, the state welcomed 261,000 Chinese visitors who spent $468 million on visits, a year-on-year increase of 27 and 22 per cent respectively.


As the Minister of Tourism stated, “Chinese residents in Australia are in a position to advocate Queensland’s tourism experiences to friends and family, both here and in China, following visits to the state”. The campaign was introduced to VIP inbound tour operators, who are active in the local Chinese community at a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne this week.

In partnership with regional tourism organisations, Tourism and Events Queensland will host Chinese travel agents and media outlets based in Australia on visits which showcase the state first-hand. Marketing activities, promoting tailored holiday packages designed to appeal to Chinese residents will also feature in the campaign. The aim is to educate the local Chinese community about the diversity of Queensland’s holiday experiences and encourage more residents to travel to the state.

Sources: UNWTO, Queensland

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