Sixty top travel agents from China specialising in selling Australian holidays will spend the next four days touring the Northern Territory.
The tour comes as a draft plan to more than double the number of Chinese visitors to the Territory by 2020 has been released for consultation by the NT Government today.
“It is terrific to have these 60 travel agents in the Territory ahead of Tourism Australia’s inaugural Corroboree Greater China event on the Gold Coast next week,” said Minister for Tourism Matt Conlan.
“This is the largest number of Chinese travel agents to ever visit the Territory at one time.
“Aussie Specialists are mainly frontline retail travel agents who actively sell Australia as a preferred long-haul destination to Chinese travellers.
“Tourism Australia’s Corroboree Greater China is one of the biggest international trade events of the year with 270 Chinese travel agents attending so it is fantastic for the Territory to carve a slice of the action before the forum kicks off.”
The Territory trip will include one group of the Chinese travel agents touring the Top End and the other Central Australia.
The Top End trip will see agents from Beijing visit the Territory Wildlife Park today before travelling to Wangi Falls and Florence Falls at Litchfield. The group will participate in a sunset harbour cruise and then travel to Kakadu and Pine Creek before returning to Darwin on Sunday where they’ll finish their trip with a visit to the Darwin Aviation Heritage Museum and Mindil Beach Markets.
The Central Australia trip will see agents from Guandong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou regions tour Uluru today where they will watch the sunrise, ride camels, participate in an Indigenous dot painting workshop before travelling to Kings Canyon and then onto Alice Springs where they will attend the Todd Mall Markets and the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station.
“From the Top End to the Centre, the Territory’s stunning scenery, parks and wildlife attractions offer a fantastic holiday for Chinese travellers,” said Mr Conlan.
“This week’s tour is a significant opportunity to showcase our experiences and the very best of the Territory to these travel agents and position the NT as a must-do destination for the Chinese.
“The China outbound travel market is the largest and fastest growing travel market in the world with one million Chinese visitors expected in Australia by 2020.
“The Country Liberals Government recognises China’s potential to help boost our tourism industry in the Territory which is why we have increased our budget for the region from $800,000 to $1.15 million in 2014-15.
“This increase is a result of the continued additional $8 million funding provided to Tourism NT by the Country Liberals as part of the 2014 Budget.
“We have also released the Draft China Market Activation Plan II today, which is our roadmap to increase Chinese visitation to the Territory from 14,000 to 30,000 by 2020.”
The Draft China Market Activation Plan II (CMAP II) focusses on the latest consumer insights, target market analysis, policy changes and collaborative platforms that present opportunities for the Northern Territory tourism industry.
It also seeks to consolidate existing programs and activities, and introduces a new focus on attracting Chinese investment as a lever to drive tourism growth.
“This update reflects our improved knowledge of the market, which now has more independent travellers than before; our improved level of market intelligence; and our understanding of the need to work with trade distribution and relationship based networks,’’ Mr Conlan said.
“As a result, we’ve developed a highly targeted approach in relation to this market where competition to secure the Chinese traveller dollar is fierce.”
The target markets include affluent free independent travellers; Chinese international students; working holiday makers from Taiwan; and the business event and incentives market aligned to the Northern Territory’s industry strengths, such as mining and energy resources.
“It is essential that industry and government work together to secure the desired growth in this market and I encourage all those in the NT tourism industry to review this draft and share their views with us,” said Mr Conlan.
“We want to ensure it contains all the insights and activities necessary to deliver more visitors from China to the NT.
“The NT Government is committed to boosting the number of tourists to the NT as part of the vision to develop Northern Australia and deliver $2.2 billion in visitor expenditure by 2020.”
CMAP II can be downloaded at www.tourismnt.com.au/en/Strategies/China-Market-Activation-Plan.aspx
The opportunity to comment on the draft plan will be available until Friday 25 July 2014.