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Chinese Tourism and its Effects on Cairns, Australia

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The Chinese tourism market has become the largest tourism market in the world and continues to show promise in its future development. Global destinations such as Southeast Asia, France and now Australia have begun to see a major boom in

The Chinese tourism market has become the largest tourism market in the world and continues to show promise in its future development. Global destinations such as Southeast Asia, France and now Australia have begun to see a major boom in Chinese tourists within the past decade due to less restrictive travel policies, a growing economy and higher disposable income rates within urban centers in China. Australia has become the top destination among Chinese citizens that wish to travel due to its coastal and beach attractions, unique wildlife, and general welcoming attitude toward Chinese citizens. As the market continues to grow, the characteristics and demographics change as well. The Chinese government did not allow for international travel until the early 1990s. During this time, package tours offered by government-regulated travel agencies were the prominent method of travel planning with travelers over the age of 35 making up the majority of travelers. However, in the past decade there has been a shift from group travel toward independent travel due to higher income and more independence among young adults. There remains a stigma against Chinese tourists due to behavioral and cultural challenges Chinese tourists face when traveling abroad, but as Chinese travelers begin to travel in smaller groups and have greater exposure to international cultures, these negative stereotypes will start to disappear. This paper focuses on the impact the Chinese tourism market has on Cairns, Australia. Cairns is characterized by its backpacking culture, easy access to environmental attractions and a high number of annual travelers from Asia and China specifically. The paper uses qualitative research and compiles information from news sources, government documents and statistical data regarding Chinese outbound tourism and its impacts on Australian tourism. There is also a case study composed of personal observations of a nature park in North Queensland which uses specific marketing and attraction coordination to appeal to Chinese tourists. This case study analyzes the tactics used by local destinations that cater to group travel over independent travel and points out the benefits of this type of specialized tourism. The research concludes by arguing the trend toward independent travel is beneficial to the Cairns tourism industry rather than harmful as long as the industry recognizes the new trends in Chinese tourism and does not focus on the previous trends of group travel when appealing to Chinese tourists. Instead, the industry should continue to focus on the backpacking culture and work toward catering to the demands of millennial travelers.

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Date Created
2016-12