Embracing the booming Chinese tourism market

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Over the past 10 years, Chinese visitors have been a key source of growth for tourism around Australia.

Now, Caravan Industry Association of Australia has released the 2018 Chinese Visitors to Caravan Parks report; one of the first research reports in the world designed to provide insights into Chinese travellers staying in caravan parks.

In the past, Chinese visitors have often focused on tourist experiences in cities, however the modern Chinese traveller to Australia is evolving to seek an independent trip with ‘special moments’ that are based around uniqueness, authenticity and quintessentially Australian. This search is increasingly leading Chinese visitors to a caravan and camping adventure in regional Australia.

The research, conducted in Victoria in February 2018, looks at the motivations, needs and attitudes of Chinese travellers.

For example, items such as rice cookers, access to hot water and increased access to wifi might seem cliché, but many visitors indicated they would appreciate these things being offered with their accommodation.

While Chinese visitors are eager to embrace the unique experiences offered by caravan and camping holidays, the report also found there is a need to explore options to subtly educate Chinese guests so they can get the most out of a caravan or camping holiday. This is because, for 80% of the respondents, they had never stayed in a caravan park before.

Assistance through information sheets in Mandarin and product education in caravan parks and RVs can lead to better support for Chinese visitors without guests feeling ‘spoon-fed’ or compromising the authenticity of their Australian experience. Simultaneously it can help caravan parks and RV rental companies better deal with issues such as effective grey-water disposal.

According to the research, the typical Chinese tourist is a female aged between 30-54 and will spend 11-15 days in Australia. 70% of respondents also said they would be likely to return to Australia, with 77% of those responses stating that they would stay in a caravan park again.

The booming market is not showing any sign of slowing down soon, with Chinese caravanners and campers increasing by 126% in 2017. It is important for those within the industry to learn how different the needs of a Chinese traveller are to ensure their interest and enthusiasm for caravan and camping holidays continues to grow.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia contributors can request the full report by contacting research@caravanindustry.com.au. State Association members can request the full report from their State Association.